GENL 0230 'Law in the Information Age'
GENL 0231 'Law in the Information Age 2.0'*

*These courses are offered concurrently this session. GENL 0230 is the existing 3 unit course, with 2 hour classes in ten intensive sessions over 5 days in subsequent weeks. The new 6 unit GENL 0231 runs for the first time in December 2010, with 3 hour classes; the first two shared with 0230, above, and an extra third hour after each session to cover the extra material.

News and updates:

(17/12/10) Online contribution submission: deadline extended to Wednesday 22 December at 5:00, with covering note including the approved proposal details and a link to the online document, by email to d.vaile [at]

(7/12/10) Where to submit the diaries and essays: in the box on Level 2 Law Faculty student centre, by 4:00 Wednesday and 3:00 Friday respectively.

(6/12/10) New essay topic: Wikileaks. See essays. See also detailed timetable for extra links.

(6/12/10) Essay word length reduced: the major essay now includes the bibliography, not excludes it in the 4,000 word count.

(1/12/2010) Media Diary tips: You don’t need to research the law or dig up legal rules, or attempt to apply them or give advice. It is a bare summary of the article itself, very simple. Only mention details of the law if the story itself covers them, and only summarise the issues it mentions. This is NOT an invitation to go away and do more research!

Don't beat about the bush with an intro, often you can start with what the story says: “Dr  XXX, head of security at XXX Pty Ltd , recently raised concerns about disclosure of confidential info...”.

NB: Like a journalist, be specific, be concrete: make sure you use as much as possible the actual names, dates and places, document titles, product names, countries, case names etc. which are anchor the story in a specific incident or event, not just broad concepts, anonymous characters and generalities.

(1/12/2010) Essay questions now available. See below.

(30/11/2010) New course started 30 November 2010.

Core documents

The printed materials for this course contain most of the required reading and details about the assessment.
This page has references to presentations, and some cases.

Essay questions

The Essay questions for the 0230/0231 courses require one essay of 2500 words (4000 for o231 students not taking the online option).
They are available here and handed out in class.


As they become available, Powerpoint presentations for certain classes will be posted here.

See also the detailed timetable for extra links to supplementary material and topics.

Defamation cases

Some of the cases listed in the Defamation Law Guide may be hard
to track down, too old or generic. Some interesting additional cases:

Using the Wrong Term
Lenox Hewitt v Queensland Newspapers Pty Limited No. SC283 of 1993 [1995] ACTSC 54

Tarring with the same brush
Chakravarti v Advertiser Newspapers Limited [1998] HCA 37

Broadcast Blues
Thompson v Australian Capital Television Pty Ltd & Ors [1996] HCA 38 (10 December 1996)

Other cases which are either legally important or about real life
people and events students may have some familiarity with:

Dow Jones & Company Inc v Gutnick [2002] HCA 56

Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Sleeman [2005] NSWCA 349

John Fairfax Publications Pty Ltd v O'Shane [2005] NSWCA 164

Costello and Abbott v Random House Pty ltd [1999] ACTSC 13 (5 March 1999)

Vincenzo Bellino vAustralian Broadcasting Corporation F.C. 96/008 [1995] HCA 34 (20 June 1995)


For more information contact David Vaile d.vaile [at]