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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Communications, networks, and the law (LAWS11311)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course covers the regulation of communications networks and services, focusing particularly on the Internet and its most current challenges (e.g. privacy, net neutrality, search engines) taking into account a range of different perspectives from the liberalisation of telecommunications over the course of the 20th century to the rise of communication rights in the information society.

The course will be organised along two main directions: we will first focus on over-arching, cross-cutting questions of these days, such as policy and regulatory rationales of communications law and the interplay between national and supra-national decision-making institutions, and then move on to cover a number of specific themes among the most widely discussed within both the academic and practitioner fields such as price control, social and universal service obligation, separation and new entry, technological neutrality (e.g. between wired and wireless), cross-border agreements, and consumer protection.

The course will privilege a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach exploring perspectives on the communications industries from other disciplines (particularly the relationship between law and innovation and between communication technologies and society) and the interaction between communications law and other forms of regulation (e.g. competition, media, trade).
Course description Session titles
1. Communications Law: Rationales, development, challenges
2. Why regulate the Internet? An Infrastructure for Free Speech
3. Why Regulate the Internet? Liberalisation, competition and industry efficiency
4. Who Regulates the Internet? Global Governance of Communications Networks and Its Challenges
5. Who Regulates the Internet? The Regulatory Design of the Communications Industry At European and National Level
6. Authorisation, licensing and access today
7. Universal service and consumers¿ rights
8. Net Neutrality
9. Network Integrity, cybersecurity and on-line crimes
10. Privacy, data protection and the right to be forgotten
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  27
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment
¿ one 1500 word written exercise (20%) to be submitted half-way through the course,
¿ one 4000 word essay (70%) to be submitted after the end of the course and
¿ participation (10%) in the classroom discussions.

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the module students should:
    1. have a deeper understanding of the legal issues arising in the communications industry (including user/consumer perspectives);
    2. appreciate the limits on administrative action in the UK and elsewhere;
    3. be able to engage in debate as to the type of regulatory measures appropriate for different forms of communication, and
    4. comprehend the role of international law ("hard" and "soft") for this field.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Paolo Cavaliere
Tel: (0131 6)51 5137
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)50 2010
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