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Unit information: Information Technology Law in 2015/16

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Unit name Information Technology Law
Unit code LAWDM0070
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Charlesworth
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will examine the law and policy issues relating to a number of key aspects of the information society. It will begin by considering the debate about the nature of the influence of information technology upon the development of new legal doctrine, moving on to consider - through topics such as data protection and freedom of information, computer misuse and computer evidence, copyright and digital rights management, criminal content liability and defamation, and e-commerce - both how the law has responded to the challenges of information technologies and the extent to which legal issues have shaped the development of information society policy.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, a successful student will be able to explain:

a) current law in key areas relating to information technologies and information

b) the underlying regulatory theories underpinning the practical regulation of new information technologies and uses of information

c) the impact and effectiveness of legal regulation upon techniological innovation and modes of information technology and information utilisation. Students should be able to state the law accurately, to critically assess both theories and the law and discuss potential solutions to any problems with current law and policy, including the usefulness or otherwise of law reform. This unit is also intended to improve skills relating to research – in particular, the ability to research legal issues and areas of law.

The assessment essays provide a means of assessing:

a) what students have learned throughout the unit, in terms both of technical subject matter and modes of critical thought

b) whether students are themselves able to think critically about the law, to extract pertinent information and analysis from material gathered though desk research, and utilise these skills to create coherent and structured academic commentary.

Teaching Information

10 x 2 hour seminars

Assessment Information

Summative - 2 x 3000 word essays (weighting 50/50%).

The assessments will assess all the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit in the context of topics selected by the examiners.

Formative - students should do one formative assessment and will receive feedback on the first summative essay

Reading and References

  • Rowland, D., Kohl, U. & Charlesworth A. Information Technology Law, (4th ed.)
  • Routledge, 2011; Lloyd, I. Information Technology Law (6th ed.), OUP, 2011;
  • Murray, A. Information Technology Law (1st ed.) OUP, 2010.