Comparative Mass Media Law Seminar

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Richard Winfield

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law

This seminar will study the comparative treatment of selected problems in mass media law by the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Court of Human Rights, and some transitional democracies in the former Soviet bloc. Particular attention will be given to the forms of governmental regulation of the content of the mass media, and analyses of the theories of free expression, and permissible regulation, that are representative of several legal systems. The seminar will consider the following topic system-by-system: the national security - free press dilemma of protecting the rights of the mass media to cover and criticize government and at the same time organizing an effective form of self-rule. The seminar will also consider other comparative regulatory problems such as defamation, seditious libel, privacy, election coverage, hate speech, incitement, fair trial-free press controversies, broadcasting, the Internet and the use of prior restraints and contempt. Students will read cases, legislation and essays, and will write a paper covering at least two legal systems.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Paper required.