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Communication law


Cottier B.

Course director


Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main legal rules governing communication in a commercial context
  • Aptitude to behave in conformity with relevant regulations

Course description

  • The media law module will deal with freedom of the press, pluralism and media concentration, rights and obligations of journalists (in particular editorial secrecy) and the status of broadcasting and internet platforms.
  • The protection of reputation module concentrates on information duties of companies (in particular ad hoc publicity), legal remedies against attacks in media and on social networks (in particular defamation and calumny, as well as the right of reply), disloyal and untrustworthy behavior of employees (in particular whistleblowing).
  • The marketing law module develops rules on advertising (in particular misleading and comparative advertising), radio and tv commercials, unfair competition as well as intrusive marketing techniques (in particular spamming, customers profiling and data mining).
  • The intellectual property module will present elements of copyright, trademark, design and patent law, as well as the rules governing domain names.

Learning methods
Ex-cathedra lessons supplemented with case studies

Hybrid teaching: four weeks of contact teaching, three weeks of on line teaching.

Examination information
One single exam (100% of the grade) at the end of the course (two hours of two modules, four hours for four modules). Open book. Practical cases.

Required material
No required readings.
Suggested bibliography:

  • Benohr I. (2013), EU consumer law and human rights, Oxford
  • Jung P. (2016), Bundesgesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG), Bern
  • Dessemontet O., (2012), Intellectual Property Law in Switzerland, Bern
  • Dreier Th. (ed.) (2016), Concise European copyright law (2nd ed.), Alphen aan den Rijn
  • Masmejan D./Cottier B./Capt N. (2014), Commentaire de la loi sur la radio et la télévision, Berne.
  • Nobel P., (2009) Unternehmenskommunikation, Zürich
  • Oster J. (2017), European and International Media Law, Cambridge
  • Razzante R. (2019), Manuale di diritto dell’informazione e della comunicazione, Milano
  • Studer P., Mayr von Baldegg R. (2018), 5. Ausg.,Medienrecht für die Praxis, Zürich
  • Weatherill S. (2013), EU consumer law and policy (2nd ed.), Cheltenham