Instructor(s): Bert Bruser, Paul Schabas

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7051HS.

Note: The Blackboard program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Blackboard as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

What happens when the public’s right to know what is going on in our courtrooms conflicts with an accused’s right to a fair trial? Does our society value a person’s right to a good reputation more highly than another’s right to free speech? Does freedom of expression include the legal right to have access to government information as part of the newsgathering process? How do we reconcile freedom of expression and privacy? In media law, fundamental values collide daily; this course will provide a debate on how those conflicts should be resolved. Topics include: defamation; the emerging right to privacy; contempt of court, publication bans and the right to a fair trial; legal rights of the press to collect, protect, and publish information; the litigation process, including protection of confidential sources; and the impact of the internet. The course will examine this complex and exciting area of the law, using practical examples, putting students “inside the newsroom.” It will review laws in Canada – common law, statutes and the Charter - and approaches in other countries, and challenge students to resolve the conflicts between protecting reputation and “libel chill”, to debate whether the media should have special rights, and what limits there should be on freedom of the press.

Evaluation
Class participation 20% (10% contribution to class discussion, 10% in class presentation/mock argument) and a short (1,500 word paper) on an issue under discussion (20%), and a final paper (approximately 3,000 – 4,000 words) worth 60%.

At a Glance

Second Term
Credits
3
Hours
2

Enrolment

Maximum
25

24 JD
1 LLM/SJD/MSL/NDEGS/SJD U

Schedule

W: 6:10 - 8:00