Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Media Law & Ethics

ICM Professional Diploma Unit

The Legal System

  • Sources of law
  • The legal profession
  • Court system

Court Restrictions

  • Open court rule
  • Reporting restrictions in court
  • Industrial tribunals
  • Access to information
  • Gaining access
  • Challenging court decisions on access

Breach of Confidence

  • Obligation of confidence
  • What is confidential?
  • Defences

Contempt of Court

  • Strict liability rule
  • Defences
  • Injunctions


  • Principle of libel
  • Libel and slander
  • Libel and malicious falsehood
  • Defamation
  • Plantiff’s case
  • Defences against libel claims
  • Procedure, injunctions and damages

Criminal Libel

  • Distinction between civil and criminal libel
  • Criminal libel in newspapers
  • Defending criminal libel actions
  • Penalties
  • Blasphemous libel and seditious libel


  • Copyright works
  • Who owns copyright
  • Infringement
  • Duration
  • Remedies

Journalist Sources

  • Legal implications and restraints

Obscenity, Indecent Displays and Racial Hatred

  • Definition of obscenity
  • Deprave and corrupt
  • Search, seizure and forfeiture
  • Public good defence
  • Indecent displays
  • Incitement of racial hatred

Elections and Parliament

  • Broadcasting controls
  • Statements about candidates
  • Parliamentary privilege and contempt
  • Freedom of speech

Professional Regulatory Bodies

  • Regulatory systems and roles

Right to Privacy

  • Basic propositions

Example Candidate Response Booklet

Example Candidate Response (ECR) Booklets are a source of crucial information for Centres and Candidates as they use real candidate responses. We ask Senior Examiners to comment on five or more responses in terms of why the mark was awarded with commentary about how to improve the answer (if necessary).

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

Law & the Media – Tom Crone (Butterworth Heinemann)

Indicative Text:

Alternative Text and Further Reading:

McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists – Tom Welsh & Walter Greenwood (Butterworth Heinemann)