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Jim is a well-known and respected government politician in County Mayo.

Assessment Brief
Module Title: Media Law and Ethics
Module Code: A7JL104
Stage (if relevant): Year 2 – Level 7
Assessment Number: Number 1 of 1
Assessment Title: Political Corruption and Defamation
Assessment Type: Case study/Research Paper
Restrictions on Time/Length : Word Count : no more than 2000 words
Individual/Group: Individual Submission

Mode of Submission: Electronically – through Moodle

Student must submit:-

Assignments must be made through Moodle. It should be in a word format document by the submission deadline. Submissions made by email will NOT be accepted. In accordance with the student handbook, assignments submitted after the latest deadline (date and time) specified, including any extension, are deemed to be “late” and are penalised as follows:

• Where the assignment is submitted not more than seven working days after the latest specified date, the mark awarded to the assignment is reduced by 25%.
• Where the assignment is submitted more than seven working days after the latest specified date, it is awarded a mark of zero.
Assignment Objective:

The objective of the assignment is to assess the student’s ability to apply legal theory to a practical problem, support that theoretical application through the use of case law, and come up with a reasonable conclusion.


Jim is a well-known and respected government politician in County Mayo. It was brought to his attention the other day that an article has been published in a national newspaper, the Irish Business Times, imputing that a prominent politician in County Mayo has been having an affair with a named local woman who runs a private consultancy practice in the town near to where Jim lives. The nature of the story is that she has been sexually involved with a leading politician in County Mayo. The story goes on to state that she wants to win a large consultancy contract advising the government, and has been involved with the politician in return for sexual favours.

Jim is in the process of preparing and is about ready to send out such a contract to tender for the Mayo region to various consultancy firms, including the one named in the article. The story has created a storm within the national and local population, and has since appeared on the internet and Twitter. One of the posts on Twitter directly names Jim as the politician that is embroiled in this scandal.

Jim has been hunted by journalists to get his side of this story, and his party leader has demanded him to attend headquarters in Dublin immediately to explain why this has appeared in the press. Jim’s wife is furious and wants a separation. Jim is strenuously denying the allegations, and says he is considering taking legal action for defamation. The newspaper concerned says it stands by its story.


A. Define the meaning of the term defamation and review the requirements that must be established by Jim if he is to succeed in his proposed defamation action.
(30 marks)
B. Based on the facts presented, comment on the potential success or otherwise of this proposed action against the Irish Business Times, dealing in particular with the fact that the article in question makes no direct reference to Jim, and using case law to support your answer.
(20 marks)
C. Examine any defences that could be asserted by the Irish Business Times in respect of Jim’s proposed claim, and comment on the impact of raising such defence and subsequently losing the action.
(15 marks)
D. Jim wants the internet and Twitter posts in relation to this story to be removed. Advise Jim as to the legal steps that he should follow in order to effect the removal of these posts, and comment on the potential liability of the host sites in relation to these posts.
(25 marks)
(Sub-Total 90 marks)
Note: An additional 10 marks will be allocated to the presentation of the document.
(Total 100 marks)

Assessment Criteria

Heading Required
Content and structure

90% Review of the various areas of laws raised by the case study question – supported by relevant cases
Application of the law to the facts presented
Drawing a conclusion and advising on the various outcomes in this situation

Language and style

10% Appropriate vocabulary, formal academic tone
Correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting (including the appropriate use of capitals)
Fluent sentences, clear transitions, and effective paragraph structure
Total 100%

The following specific criteria will also be used to assess your performance for this assignment.

Knowledge and Understanding:
• Does the student clearly present the legal issue(s) to be resolved?
• Does the student present the relevant legal principles/rules to be applied?

Evaluation, Analysis and Application:
• Does the student clearly explain the relevant legal principles/rules?
• Does the student explain how these principles/rules relate to the facts in the problem and thereby support the student’s conclusion?

Language and structure
• Does the student use appropriate grammar and spelling?
• Is the coursework typed and well presented?
• Does the discussion follow a clear structure?

Question and Answers Component
• Does the student show evidence of research and preparation?
• Is there accuracy of answers?
• Does the student speak at a sensible pace, clearly and audibly?
• Does the student use appropriate language and maintain suitable posture and body language?
• Does the student avoid excessive reference to notes?

In addition, the following generic assessment criteria describe the level of achievement the student has attained for the assignment:

NQF Level
7 Programme Module Code & Name Awarding Body

Generic Learning Descriptors Assessed

Including: applies, changes, computes, constructs, demonstrates, discovers, manipulates, modifies, operates, predicts, prepares, produces, relates, shows, solves, uses, analyzes, breaks down, compares, contrasts, diagrams, deconstructs, differentiates, discriminates, distinguishes, identifies, illustrates, infers, outlines, relates, selects, separates

% Quality Description of Criteria for Reference Lexicon

Profound, systematic, brilliant, demonstrating mastery, superlative, unique, rare, discriminating, original
Sophisticated, rigorous, incisive, scrupulous, penetrating, insightful, astute, innovative, perceptive, challenging, definitive, authorative, commanding
Refined, finesse, flair, dynamic, lucid, distinctive, inventive, comprehensive, expert, cogent
Thoughtful, accomplished, skilful, assured, dexterous, analysed, critical, decisive, convincing, developed, fluent, confident, robust
Tested, thorough, accurate, grounded, consistent, coordinated, imaginative, independent, synthesised, effective, complete, logical, proficient

Established, conventional, clear, appropriate, coherent, reliable, cautious, resolved, evidenced, summary, solid

40-49 ACCEPTABLE Unadventurous, capable, inconsistent,, straightforward, hesitant, outline, charted, tentative, provisional, uncertain, indicative, interim
Derivative, superficial, initiated, threshold, sufficient, adequate, unimaginative, inaccurate, unresolved, indistinct, imprecise, inexact
25-34 POOR
Partial, unclear, inappropriate, misconstrued, unconsidered, basic, vague

Incomplete, deficient, unstructured,
Without relevance to the rubric, aimless
Rewriting of question, unintelligible writing, inappropriate commentary, not addressing question in any way
General Assessment Submission Requirements for Students:

1. Online assignments must be submitted no later than the stated deadline.

2. All relevant provisions of the Assessment Regulations must be complied with.

3. Extensions to assignment submission deadlines will be not be granted, other than in exceptional circumstances. To apply for an extension and download the Assignment Extension Request Form.

4. Students are required to retain a copy of each assignment submitted, and the submission receipt.

5. Assignments that exceed the word count will be penalised.

6. Students are required to refer to the assessment regulations in their Student Guides and on the Student Website.

7. Dublin Business School penalises students who engage in academic impropriety (i.e. plagiarism, collusion and/or copying). Please refer to the attached referencing guidelines for information on correct referencing.

What is referencing and why is it necessary?

Please follow this link to the APA Style Referencing Guide – all referencing is required in this format.




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