Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Information Law and Policy LAW5206

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course investigates the economic, cultural and societal value of information, and the legal framework concerning its use. The development and omnipresence of information technologies brought about the information society and digital economy, where knowledge and information are crucial value-generators. Questions of who collects, processes and controls information, heaps of which us, users of the internet, generate every day, became crucial. The lines between public and private, things we own and those we license, services which are free and those which come as a cost, became blurred, challenging some of the fundamental legal concepts conceived in and for a different reality.


In this course, students will be exposed to and engage with some of the key legal debates concerning the use and regulation of information technologies across different fields of law such as data protection, privacy, fundamental rights and intellectual property. This may include, for example, internet governance, intermediary liability, freedom of expression, disinformation and automated decision making. Throughout the semester, students will conduct an overview of the relevant legal fields, examining how they interact in the regulation of information, to explain and engage in contemporary policy discussions.


10 x 2-hour seminars in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all LLM students subject to the requirements of the LLM programme on which the student is enrolled.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by a 3-hour 'seen' examination (100%) with the questions made available to the students in advance.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of some of the key legal debates concerning the use and regulation of information technologies. Those debates engage a variety of legal fields, including data protection, privacy, fundamental rights and intellectual property. The course provides an overview of the relevant legal fields, allowing students to make connections between them, and link them to the contemporary policy discussions.


Further aims are to:


■ Foster understanding of a complex legal framework concerning the use and regulation of information technologies;

■ Provide students with an opportunity to examine the relationship between law and technology and their mutual influence on each other;

■ Equip students with knowledge and ability to constructively evaluate the positions taken in current debates and to propose possible reforms;

■ Explore the policy justifications underpinning current regulatory interventions; 

■ Encourage independent learning and research. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


■ Identify and discuss the main rules governing the use of information online; 

■ Evaluate the contemporary legal debates concerning the use and regulation of information technologies;

■ Identify and critically assess wider trends in the regulation of information technologies;

■ Situate legal issues concerning the use of information online in a broader economic, societal and cultural context.  

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.