European Media Law


The course presents, structures and analyses the basic characteristics of law and regulations about media, public communication and freedom of expression from the European and comparative perspective. In a democratic society regulations concerning media, journalism, internet, arts, culture and entertainment have to strike a fair balance, taking into consideration the freedom of expression as well as the need to protect other fundamental rights and freedoms as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights (right to privacy, personality rights, presumption of innocence, freedom of religion, intellectual property rights).

The course focuses on national and international media law, with special attention to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the legal framework of the European Union. The course analyses the characteristics and actual developments of national and international media law, specifically with references to the relevant case law of the ECHR. The students are expected to write and present a well-structured and documented report on a basic issue in the domain of media law or freedom of expression in Europe.


The course focuses on the analysis of the legal aspects of freedom of expression and information and the most important restrictions in application of Article 10 § 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Analysis of content restrictions such as racism, discrimination, incitement to violence and defamation. Analysis of restrictions with regard to court reporting, privacy protection, morals, protection of children/minors, broadcasting law, internet regulation, advertising regulation, freedom of political and artistic expression, the relation between media and justice, rights of journalists (including the protection of journalistic sources) and freedom of expression of lawyers (the lawyer's privilege), media and terrorism and freedom of expression and religion. The different perspectives of freedom of expression (no interference by authorities, positive obligations, horizontal effect). The balancing of freedom of expression with other human rights and freedoms. Introductions of some EU-directives with specific relevance for media law (EU-Directives on Television Broadcasting Activities/Audiovisual Media Services, E-Commerce and Copyright in the Information Society).

Key words: 
Freedom of expression and information, content restrictions, regulation of media and public communication, freedom of expression and other (human) rights, journalism, case law of the European Court of Human Rights, media and democracy, EU Media Law and Media Policy, Directive Audiovisual Media Services, case law CJEU.
Faculty members: