Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Practical Issues in Information Law

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Information Policy and Governance

DESCRIPTION The study-unit seeks to equip students, especially would-be practitioners in journalism and other communication professions with a basic working knowledge of policy and governance dimensions of various instances where online and offline behavior may carry legal consequences.

Study-Unit Aims:

- Delivery technologies;
- Print technology law;
- Broadcast technology law;
- Cyberlaw; responsibility and liability for online behavior;
- Reputation and libel in Malta;
- Reputation and libel internationally;
- Data protection law and the GDPR;
- Censorship and other limitations on the freedom of expression;
- Policy and governance issues in social media;
- Surveillance, privacy and free expression on the Internet;
- Obtaining, retaining, preserving, and communicating digital evidence;
- Fundamentals of IP rights: patent, copyright, trade and service marks.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify various instances where the online and offline behavior of a communications professional may result in liability and responsibility;
- Identify instances of threat to the freedom of expression;
- Recognise correct responses to threats to reputation of individual citizens who are not communications professionals;
- Develop a basic understanding of Maltese law dealing with media, broadcasting and libel;
- Further develop an applied understanding of information flows within ICTs, especially broadcast and Internet technologies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Contextualise real-life cases and identify the legal, ethical and information policy implications within cases which are often encountered by the communications professionals;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of further triangulating the sources, also as a means of strengthening evidence;
- Know whom to refer in a number of specific media and communications situations.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Kevin Aquilina & M Axiak, Maltese Broadcasting Legislation: Salient Documentation, Hamrun, Broadcasting Authority, 2007.
- Kevin Aquilina, Media Law in Malta, Wolters Kluwer Law and Business, 2014.
- Oliver Castendyk, Egbert J. Dommering, Alexander Scheuer, European Media Law, Kluwer International, 2008.
- Peggy Valcke, Media Law in the European Union, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2012.
- Michael Holoubek, Dragana Damjanovic, Matthias Traimer, Regulating Content: European Regulatory Framework for the Media and Related Creative Sectors, Kluwer Law International, 2007.
- Kevin Aquilina, Maltese Law on Censorship in the Light of Recent Local and European Censorship Cases. Theinsiter, December 2009, pp. 44-45.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Study-unit: IPG2001

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Seminar Paper SEM2 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Joseph Cannataci (Co-ord.)
Antonio Ghio
Peter Grech
Michael Tanti Dougall

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.