You are asked to propose a reform. Be clear about what this is.
This could be your own original idea or based upon (but not simply copying) reforms suggested by others or used elsewhere (ie in other jurisdictions).
May focus on either privacy or defamation.
You may propose statutory reform or development of the common law in a particular direction.
May be for a major reform (e.g. recognise a novel “intrusion” tort) or something far more modest (e.g. an adjustment to the way in which one aspect of a balancing test is applied).
But be aware of the space you have – 2,000 words is not much to do anything too complex!
Could conceivably be on a matter affecting both privacy and defamation – but this is not required and may lead you into pretty complex territory.
You must justify your proposed reform.
Why is it needed?
Does it plug a gap in existing rights protection?
Does it address an imbalance?
Will it lead to greater coherence?
Does it make English law tally up with relevant theory?
You must defend your proposed reform against potential criticism. Consider how and by whom it might be objected-to. Can you draw upon relevant theory to defend it (theoretical justification)? Does it represent a better reading of domestic/European authority (a doctrinal justification)?
Reforms often follow the appearance of something undesirable in the law.
Defamation Act 2013 – single publication rule
Contempt of Court Act 1981 (coming up next term) – response to Sunday Times v UK
Campbell v MGN – response triggered by HRA 1998 to lacuna in law of confidence
Gulati – extension of the law following phone hacking revelations
Either regarding privacy or defamation issues
Introduction with a clear thesis statement, subheadings to divide different sections, must reach a logical and clear conclusion
Media Law (Coursework feed-forward) Lecture – 10/12/2015
- Clear theme: essay has to pursue a clear argument, everything in your essay should be making a contribution to that argument
- Clear in its direction – introduction + sign posting + logical conclusion
- Bibliography ** makes a good first impression
- What are you arguing?
- How will you make this argument?
- Why are you making this argument in this particular way (as opposed to any other)? – justify but how? (rational explanation – why you left something out)
- What will you demonstrate by the time you reach your conclusion?
- Each paragraph should help towards your conclusion – and should be clear how it is helping
Comments on this title
- Propose, justify and defend one reform to the law pertaining either to the protection of privacy or reputation in England
- In a way that suggests an improvement in the law – doesn’t necessary have to be a legislative reform
- Own original idea or based upon (not copying) reforms suggested by others or used elsewhere (other jurisdiction)
- May focus on either privacy or defamation – some ideas would have an impact on both (don’t have to try and cover both)
- Statutory reform or …
Justify (your proposed reform)
- Why is it needed?
- Does it plug a gap in existing rights protection?
- Does it address an imbalance?
- Will it lead to greater coherence?
- Does it make English law tally up with relevant theory? – better in line with European Convention?
- Against potential criticism
- How and by whom it might be objected-to
- Draw upon relevant theory to defend it (theoretical justification)
- Represent a better reading of domestic/European authority (doctrinal justification)?
Thinking of a proposal
- Write something that interests you
- JUDGEMENT **
- Reforms often follow the appearance of something undesirable in the law
- Defamation Act 2013 – single publication rule (newspapers with online archives – limiting time claim can be brought, 12 months)
- Contempt of Court Act 1981 (next term) – response to Sunday Times v UK
- Campbell v MGN – response triggered by HRA 1998 to lacuna in law of confidence (gap surrounding pictures taken in public – some say not satisfactory)
- Gulati – extension of the law following phone hacking revelations (inadequate response, not dealing with the problem sufficiently)
** Look at controversial litigation response
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