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Module Title
Advanced Law For Journalists

Court reporting, institutions of law, contempt of court, regulation of profession including PCC code, law of meetings and trespass, visit to courts, key legal concepts

SCQF Points15
ECTS Points7.5
CreatedApril 2007
ApprovedJune 2007
AmendedAugust 2012
Version No.2

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

Introduction to Media Law or equivalent module

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

1. To appraise students of key rules and limitations in respect of court reporting
2. To inform students about requirements of the journalism profession in terms of standards of behaviour and compliance with legal rules.
3. To facilitate student's understanding of legal institutions and their roles and key legal concepts.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Analyse and justify the process of court reporting
identifying relevant: proceedings, terminology, restrictions, defences and location.
2. Compare and discuss how other legal forums operate including hearings and tribunals and any limitations on reporting that apply.
3. Identify and explain key issues relating to: official secrets, interdicts, elections and the role and code of practice of Independent Press Standards Organisation.
4. Analyse legal rules regulating: public order and unlawful behaviour at meetings and the law of trespass.

Indicative Module Content

Court Reporting - restrictions on reporting proceedings in civil and criminal courts, terminology used in criminal proceedings, court visit, relevant defences, contempt of court.
Tribunals, fatal accident inquiries and children's hearings - reporting rules.
Official secrets, law relating to elections and the Independent Press Standards Organisation - Code of Practice. Legal rules regulating: public order, behaviour at meetings and trespass

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full Time
Court Visits

Directed Study

Directed study

Private Study

Private study

Mode of Delivery

This subject matter in this module will be delivered by practitioners experienced in the areas of law and journalism identified in the indicative content. It will be taught through twelve two hour lectures, six seminars and court visits.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 1,2,3,4

Component 1 comprises an essay (2000 words)

Indicative Bibliography

1.BLOY, D. and HADWIN, S., 2011. Law and the media. 2nd ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell.
2.CAREY, P. et al., 2010. Media law. 5th ed. London: Sweet and Maxwell.
3.McINNES, R., 2010. Scots law for journalists. 8th ed. Edinburgh: W Green.
4.QUINN, F., 2015. Law for journalists. 5th ed. Harlow: Pearson
5.SMARTT, U., 2006. Media law for journalists. London: Sage.
6.SMARTT, U., 2014. Media and entertainment law. 2nd edition. Abingdon: Routledge.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781