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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Undergraduate Course: Personality Rights: Scots Law in a European Context (LAWS10183)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course aims to consider personality rights in the law of delict, studying Scots law within its broader European context. The field of personality rights comprises those interests which protect the pursuer's person (apart from any economic or pecuniary loss), such as reputation, privacy, liberty, autonomy, confidentiality etc: their 'being' rather than their 'having'. This is an area of the law of delict in constant evolution, where Scots law is often unsettled.

Course description The course will provide an in-depth, critical analysis and assessment of these rights, building on the lessons of comparative law, legal history and human rights jurisprudence. It will examine defamation and verbal injuries, breach of privacy, and other related causes of action. The respective influence of English law, the civilian roots of Scots law and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, along with their interplay in modern Scots law, will be considered.

The course will be taught over ten two-hour seminars.

Provisional Topics are as follows:

1. Introduction: the notion of personhood; mapping personality rights

2. The Roman and civilian delict of iniuria (contempt) and its legacy

3. Human rights protection: generalities and relationship with domestic law

4. Human rights protection: Arts 8 and 10 ECHR

5. The protection of reputation: Defamation - I: The cause of action

6. The protection of reputation: Defamation - II: Defences

7. Verbal injuries outside defamation

8. The protection of confidentiality and privacy - I: The existing law

9. The protection of confidentiality and privacy - II: Theory and future developments

10. The protection of liberty, autonomy and other personality rights
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Delict (LAWS08135)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the key doctrines which underpin the protection of personality rights in Scotland, along with an appreciation of their history and comparative significance; and demonstrate a critical understanding of the way the law operates, both theoretically and in practice.
  2. Critically analyse source materials and use them to present a structured argument; plan and draft a piece of independent research; and have developed the ability to analyse and apply current case law and scholarship to problems so as to suggest possible solutions.
  3. Have developed the ability to assemble information derived from a number of different sources (primary and secondary, modern and ancient, domestic and international), to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant, and to create a coherent synthesis; have acquired the essential legal research skills necessary to produce structured legal documents; and have developed the ability to make a reasoned choice between rival positions on legal questions.
  4. Have developed their ability to work independently under fixed deadlines, participate effectively in seminars and discussions; have developed their capacity for reflecting on the outcomes of individual research with a view to identifying strengths and weaknesses and furthering their own learning; and have developed the ability to present the outcome of independent research in a clear written and oral form.
  5. Students will learn during this course to develop a critical analysis of the extent to which our ¿personhood¿ as human beings is and should be protected by the law of delict. They will also have had an excellent case study of the extent to which modern Scots law is and should be shaped by its own civilian roots, by English law, and by the influence of supra-national human rights instruments
Reading List
Niall Whitty and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds), Rights of Personality in Scots Law: A Comparative Perspective (Dundee UP 2009)

Elspeth Reid, Personality, Confidentiality and Privacy in Scots Law (EUP 2010)

Alastair Mullis and Richard Parkes (eds), Gatley on Libel and Slander (12th ed, Sweet & Maxwell 2013)

Mark Warby, Nicole Moreham and Iain Christie (eds), Tugendhat and Christie's Law of Privacy and the Media (2nd ed, OUP 2011)

Eric Descheemaeker and Helen Scott (eds), Iniuria and the Common Law (Hart 2013)

Paul Mitchell, The Making of the Modern Law of Defamation (Hart 2005)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPersonality Rights,Delictual Liability
Course organiserMr Eric Descheemaeker
Course secretaryMrs Susan Leask
Tel: (0131 6)50 2344
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