LAWS3221 Creative Expression and the Law

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the Law and Society major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 3 elective
This unit critically explores how Australian law regulates and fails to regulate creative expression, which is interpreted broadly to include content across the artistic, commercial, cultural and scientific domains. Examples of creative content considered in the unit include artworks, films, multimedia creations, advertisements, musical creations, designs (architectural, industrial, engineering, product design, web design, trademark logos), computer software, literary and dramatic works (articles, books, poems and plays), performances, inventions and industrial secrets (agricultural, scientific and engineering). The unit surveys a number of laws, which may include intellectual property laws, defamation, privacy, trade practices, contract and censorship, and investigates how those laws can both protect and impede creative expression. Students gain an understanding of, and critically reflect on, how a mix of Australian laws regulate what we can express, how we can protect what we express and how those expressions can and cannot be used by the creator and others.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of how Australian laws regulate and fail to regulate creative content and (2) develop skills in (a) identifying, applying and critically evaluating legal, ethical and policy issues relating to the regulation of creative expression; (b) critically reflecting on, and proposing solutions to problems concerning the legal regulation of creative expression; (c) reading and understanding complex texts; (d) undertaking scholarly research of primary and secondary sources utilising legal and social sciences databases; (e) writing a formal research essay on a sociolegal issue related to law and creative expression; and (f) written and oral communication.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial presentation and participation; (2) essay; and (3) exam (or reflection papers). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Jani McCutcheon
Unit rules
(LAWS1104 Introduction to Law or LAWS1111 Law, Conflict and Change or LAWS1120 Australian Legal Principles and Institutions) and LAWS2227 Law in Action
LAWS2221 Creative Expression and the Law
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus. Copies of textbooks and other readings will be made available for students to access from the Library, online wherever possible as well as in print.