Bachelor of Laws: Privacy & Media Law

A comprehensive guide to legal research created by the VU Law Library
The interest of a person in sheltering his or her life from unwanted interference or public scrutiny...
(Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary, 2021)

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How to Use This Guide


  • Use a dictionary to look up definitions of any words or phrases in an assessment that you are unfamiliar with


  • Look-up any legislation relevant to the assessment question

 Loose-leaf Service 

  • Check the loose-leaf services to see if they provide any commentary on the assessment topic.  Loose-leaf services typically:
    • provide detailed and up-to-date discussion of legal issues
    • include annotations (explanatory notes) to the provisions of relevant legislation

 Case Law 

  • Look up relevant case law identified by the secondary sources or the assessment question
  • Use a case citator to find judicial consideration of relevant legislation


  • Check a legal encyclopaedia for discussion of the assessment topic.  A legal encyclopaedia typically:
    • provides a concise overview
    • covers all Australian jurisdictions

 Journal Articles 

  • Check to see if the issues raised in the assessment have been discussed in journal articles

 Referencing Guides  

  • Use the guides to reference all sources correctly


Privacy & Media Law - Dictionary Definitions


The Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary provides definitions of legal words and phrases, and gives explanations of well known rules and principles of law.

It contains over 25000 definitions.

The dictionary is a secondary source, but it frequently refers to primary sources such as case law and legislation, as authorities for the definitions that it provides.

It can be helpful to look up definitions of any words or phrases in an assessment that you are unfamiliar with.

Click on the following words to view their definitions.

Breach of confidence

Confidential Information

Contempt of court



Right to Privacy

Suppression order



CCH Privacy

 Loose-leaf Service 

CCH is a legal publisher that produces a collection of law resources.

 How to Reference a Loose-leaf Service 

CCH also includes Roadmaps which are a great overview of a topic, explaining it step by step. You can search specifically for roadmaps. Just include the word with your other search terms. For example: privacy AND roadmap.

Finding Journal Articles

 Journal Articles 

AGIS (Attorney Generals Information Service) - is the leading legal journals database in Australia.  Use AGIS to search hundreds of journals for articles about Will and Administration of Estates. 

 How to Reference a Journal Article 


 Journal Articles 

Some suggested journals for Privacy & Media Law.

 How to Reference a Journal Article 

Internet Law Bulletin

The Internet Law Bulletin was created to address the range of legal issues posed by the internet and online services. This includes issues as diverse as copyright, defamation, online dispute resolution, privacy, trade practices and criminal law.

Media and Arts Law Review

The Media & Arts Law Review publishes articles and shorter case notes, update reports, book reviews and conference reports.

Legislation & Extrinsic Materials


TimeBase LawOne provides access to full text legislation from nine Australian jurisdictions, links through to amending and subordinate legislation, Bills, Explanatory Memoranda and Second Reading Speeches, and detailed legislative histories. 

Extrinsic materials, including Explanatory Memoranda and Second Reading Speeches, may be helpful when researching particular provisions of an Act.  This video demonstrates how to use the Key Info button in TimeBase LawOne to locate and view extrinsic materials.

 How to Reference an Act 


Finding Cases that Consider a Section of an Act

 Case Law 

To find judicial consideration of a particular provision of legislation:

  1. Access Lexis+ via the A-Z Databases list.
  2. Select Legislation (from the menu under the search box)
  3. Then LawNowPlus Legislation Citator
  4. Search for the legislation by title and provision
  5. From the results click on the title to view the legislation
  6. Select Cases tab to view a list of cases
  7. Select 'Show Lexis Leading Cases' to view the results in relevance order

 How to Reference Case Law 


Laws of Australia - Legal Encyclopaedia - Westlaw Australia


The Laws of Australia encyclopaedia (TLA) is a complete library of legal principles covering over 330 topics and every Australian jurisdiction. 

 How to Reference a Legal Encyclopaedia 

Civil Defamation

Introduction, Relevant Law, Abolition of distinction between libel and slander, Elements of action for civil defamation, Resolution of civil disputes without litigation, Roles of judicial officers and juries, Defences, Reply: Malice, Relief.

Criminal Defamation

Introduction, Uniform Defamation Laws, Elements of Offence, Defences and Penalties, 

Injurious Falsehood

Introduction, Action for Injurious Falsehood, Defences and Remedies., 

The Australian Press Council

Introduction, Background, structure and functions, Complaints.


Introduction, Australian broadcasting system, Licensing of broadcasters, Limits on ownership and control, Programs, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Special Broadcasting Service, Digital Radio.

Internet Law 

Introduction, Online Content Regulation, Spam, Online gambling, Copyright Infringement and the Internet, Domain names.

Halsbury's Laws of Australia - Legal Encyclopaedia - Lexis+


Halsbury's Laws of Australia is a comprehensive legal encyclopaedia.  Halsbury's provides concise statements of the law supported by references to primary authorities contained in detailed footnotes. Halsbury’s is divided into 89 subject areas, known as titles. It can be browsed or searched. Halsbury's also includes a consolidated index. 

Using a legal encyclopedia can be an efficient way to begin researching a topic

 How to Reference a Legal Encyclopaedia 

Halsbury's Laws of Australia - Legal Encyclopaedia - Lexis+

This legal encyclopaedia contains extensive commentary on privacy and media law.



Introduction, Cause of action in defamation, defences to an action in defamation, malice, remedies, criminal defamation, 


185 - EQUITY (6) Miscellaneous Doctrines (G) Confidential Information & Equity

General, Information that is confidential, Receipt of information in circumstances of confidence, Breach of duty of confidence, Remedies for breach of confidence, Defences to a claim of breach of confidence.



Introduction and non-electronic communications, Telecommunications, Radiocommunications, Broadcasting services.