LAWS396-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017

Media Law

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2017
End Date: Sunday, 19 November 2017
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 July 2017
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 13 October 2017


Media Law

Media law is a fascinating and increasingly important subject.  This course pursues a general theme of investigating and analysing the nature of free speech and the public interest as they relate to the media.  It covers the most important laws which impact on the media, including defamation, court reporting and contempt, breach of confidence, copyright, restrictions on news-gathering methods, privacy, the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Press Council.

Teaching in the course is active rather than passive.  This involves the use of pub quizzes, group discussion and feedback, guest speakers, a haiku competition, case studies, a grand debate, spot debates, media monitoring and student responsibility exercises.

Learning Outcomes

  • The objects of the course are:
  •  to give students knowledge and understanding of the general principles;
  •  to give students analytical and critical skills in relation to the present law, including in relation to how government is meeting its Treaty of Waitangi obligations to preserve Te Reo;
  •  to enable students to consider possible reform of the law; and
  •  to assist students to develop research, writing and oral skills.


(i) LAWS101; and (ii) LAWS110


Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Ursula Cheer


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 18 Aug 2017 20%
Group Summary Opinion 15 Sep 2017 10%
Reflection Document 15 Sep 2017 5%
Oral Presentation (filmed) 15%
Final Examination 50%

Assessment may be by way of a group breaking news legal advice exercise, an essay, a filmed oral presentation and a final examination.

The assessment will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

John Burrows and Ursula Cheer; Burrows and Cheer on media law in New Zealand ; 7th edn; LexisNexis, 2015.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $775.00

International fee $3,525.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Faculty of Law .

All LAWS396 Occurrences

  • LAWS396-17S2 (C) Semester Two 2017