Dr Peter Coe
Areas of interest
My research interests fall within the field of Media Law. Specifically, I am fascinated by:
- Citizen journalism's interaction with free speech, media freedom and press regulation, and the concepts of privacy and reputation;
- Defamation, including the protection of corporate reputation;
- Media power and plurality, the role the media plays within society and its impact on democracy.
My research is comparative and theoretical in nature. It draws on scholarship and jurisprudence from a number of jurisdictions, including the United States and Australia, and is heavily influenced by free speech theory, privacy theory, legal theory, regulatory theory and political and moral philosophy.
I welcome expressions of interest for prospective PhD students in my areas of interest, and the field of Media Law more broadly.
Research centres and groups
I am an Associate Professor in Law at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this I was a Lecturer in Law, and then an Associate Professor in Law, at the University of Reading, where I served as the Deputy Research Division Leader, the School of Law’s Research Communications Lead, and the Co-Chair of the Law, Justice and Society Research Group. I still work closely with my Reading colleagues and students at the School of Law and wider University, including as a PhD supervisor, in my role as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow. I have also held a Senior Lectureship in Law at Aston University, where I held a number of academic management and administrative positions relating to research and teaching, including the LLB Course Directorship from 2014 to 2017, and managing the Law School's employability initiatives from 2014 to 2018. Additionally I have practised as a barrister, having been Called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 2007 as a Lord Denning Scholar and Hardwicke Entrance Scholar.
My primary research interests are: (i) citizen journalism's impact on free speech, media freedom and regulation, and the concepts of privacy and reputation; (ii) defamation, including the protection of corporate reputation; (iii) media power and plurality, the role the media plays within society and its impact on democracy. My work in these areas has been published in leading journals such as Legal Studies, the University of Melbourne's Media & Arts Law Review, the Journal of Business Law and Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, amongst others, and my monograph, Media Freedom in the Age Citizen Journalism, was published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2021. I am also the co-editor, with Professor Paul Wragg, of Landmark Cases in Privacy Law, which will be published by Hart Publishing in 2022. In addition, I regularly write for practitioner and media outlets, such as Inforrm, and I am often invited to speak to the media, at international conferences, and to give guest lectures to academics, non-academics and policy makers.
In 2022, my research led to me being appointed by the Council of Europe as an independent expert member of the Council’s Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation. In 2021 I was invited to join the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Information Law and Policy Centre as an Associate Research Fellow, having been a Research Associate at the ILPC since 2018. In 2020 I was appointed as an Advisor to the University of East London's Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit. My work on citizen journalism, media freedom and press regulation led to me helping to set up, and lead, an IMPRESS Advisory Group to provide expert guidance to the press regulator on the creation and operation of a new regulatory scheme for traditional and new and emerging news publishers. And, in 2021 I was invited to join the IMPRESS Code Committee to support its review of its Standards Code for journalists. Consequently, between October 2021 and January 2022 I was engaged by IMPRESS to re-draft its Standards Code and Guidance. During 2021-2022, upon invitation from the International Academy of Comparative Law and British Association of Comparative Law, I am acting as the United Kingdom’s National Rapporteur on ‘Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News’.
Since August 2019 I have been Editor-in-Chief of Communications Law, one of the leading specialist journals devoted to media and technology law. I am also the author of the 'In Brief' section of the journal. Prior to taking over the Editorship of the journal I was a member of its Editorial Board. I also sit on the International Editorial Boards of In Medias Res and the International Journal of Communication and New Technologies Law. Additionally, I am an Academic Associate Member of East Anglian Chambers and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. From 2017 to 2020 I was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars, and in 2020 I became the Convenor of the Society’s Media and Communications Law subject section.
Awards and honours
Funding awarded November 2017: £2,972.00 from Inner Temple.
- Independent expert member of the Council of Europe’s Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation
- Member of the IMPRESS Code Committee
- Chair of IMPRESS Advisory Group on regulating new and emerging news publishers
- British Association of Comparative Law United Kingdom National Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News
- Advisor to the University of East London's Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit
- Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Information Law and Policy Centre, University of London
- Editor-in-chief of Communications Law
- Convenor of the Media and Communications Law Subject Section, Society of Legal Scholars
- Member of the Editorial Board of In Medias Res
- Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Communication and New Technologies Law
- Member of the Bar of England and Wales
- Member and Lord Denning Scholar and Hardwicke Entrance Scholar of Lincoln's Inn
- Academic Associate Member of East Anglian Chambers
- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2023) Press regulation in the United Kingdom in a changed media ecosystem. In: Wragg, P. and Koltay, A. , (eds.) Global Perspectives on Press Regulation. Hart Publishing
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2022) The Draft Online Safety Bill and the regulation of hate speech: have we opened Pandora’s Box?. Journal of Media Law , 14 (1). pp. 50-75. ISSN: 1757-7632 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17577632.2022.2083870
- Coe, P. (2020) An analysis of three distinct approaches to using defamation to protect corporate reputation from Australia, England and Wales, and Canada. Legal Studies , 40 (4). pp. 1-19. ISSN: 1748-121X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/lst.2020.38
- Coe, P. (2020) A comparative analysis of the treatment of corporate reputation in Australia and the UK. In: Koltay, A. and Wragg, P. , (eds.) Comparative Privacy and Defamation. Edward Elgar ISBN: 9781788970587
- Coe, P. and Brown, J. (2020) What's in a name? The case for protecting the reputation of businesses under Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Journal of European Tort Law , 10 (3). pp. 286-315. ISSN: 1868-9612 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jetl-2019-0123
- Coe, P. and Dagilyte, E. (2019) Developing professionalism via take-home exams: assessment for learning in law studies. In: Bone, A. and Maharg, P. , (eds.) Critical Perspectives on the Scholarship of Assessment and Learning in Law: Volume 1: England. Assessment in Legal Education , 1. ANU Press pp. 109-138. ISBN: 9781760463007 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.22459/CP01.2019
- Coe, P. (2018) (Re)embracing social responsibility theory as a basis for free speech: shifting the normative paradigm for a modern media. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly , 69 (4). pp. 403-431. ISSN: 0029-3105
- Coe, P. (2018) Anonymity and pseudonymity: Free speech’s problem children. Media & Arts Law Review , 22 (2). pp. 173-200. ISSN: 1325-1570
- Coe, P. (2017) National security and the fourth estate in a brave new social media world. In: Scaife, L. , (eds.) Social Networks as the New Frontier of Terrorism: #Terror. Routledge pp. 165-192. ISBN: 9781138950535
- Coe, P. (2017) Redefining 'media' using a 'media-as-a-constitutional-component' concept: An evaluation of the need for the European Court of Human Rights to alter its understanding of 'media' within a new media landscape. Legal Studies , 37 (1). pp. 25-53. ISSN: 1748-121X | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lest.12133
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2015) Footballers and social media 'faux pas': the Football Association's cash cow?. Entertainment Law Review , 26 (3). pp. 75-78. ISSN: 0959-3799
- Coe, P. (2015) The Defamation Act 2013: We need to talk about Corporate Reputation. Journal of Business Law , 2015 (4). pp. 313-334. ISSN: 0021-9460
- Coe, P. (2015) The social media paradox: an intersection with freedom of expression and the criminal law. Information and Communications Technology Law , 24 (1). pp. 16-40. ISSN: 1360-0834 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600834.2015.1004242
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2014) The Defamation Act 2013 and CPR 3.4 and 24: a sting in causation's tail. Entertainment Law Review , 25 (3). pp. 93-96. ISSN: 0959-3799
- Coe, P. and Dagilyte, E. (2014) Professionalism in higher education: Important not only for lawyers. The Law Teacher , 48 (1). pp. 33-50. ISSN: 1943-0353 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03069400.2013.875303
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2013) Compatibility of whole life orders with the European Convention on Human Rights. Journal of Criminal Law , 77 (6). pp. 476-481. ISSN: 1740-5580 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1350/jcla.2013.77.6.874
- Coe, P. ORCID: 0000-0002-6036-4127 (2013) Justifying reverse burdens of proof: a tale of diminished responsibility and a tangled knot of authorities. Journal of Criminal Law , 77 (5). pp. 360-365. ISSN: 1740-5580 | doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1350/jcla.2013.77.5.860
- Coe, P. (2013) The value of corporate reputation and the Defamation Act 2013: a brave new world or road to ruin?. Communications Law , 18 (4). pp. 113-121. ISSN: 1746-7616