Posted: April 6th, 2015
COMPUTERS AND THE LAW
Academic Year 2014-15
You are asked to write an individual essay, with a maximum length of two sides of A4 paper, on ONE of the topics listed below:
TITLE: ‘The relationship between technology and law is always problematic.’
Discuss in relation to ONE of the following problem areas –
(a) Digital file-sharing and piracy
(b) Digital Rights Management
(c) Computer hacking
(d) Cloud computing and digital piracy
(e) Malicious software (malware)
(f) Illegal and/or offensive online content
(g) Protection of individual personal data
(h) Data-mining practices of the private sector on consumer habits
The assessment criteria for this coursework assignment are as follows:
• Content: Awareness of issues; analysis of relevant law; clarity and development of argument; appropriate sources to substantiate and illustrate argument; full acknowledgment of references and sources used.
• Structure: Clarity and order of argument.
• Style: Objective style; correct spelling and grammar.
This is an individual assignment. Faculty regulations on plagiarism and late submission apply.
Feedback on Coursework: Individual feedback will be provided on returned work by way of mark, feedback sheet and/or comments on the work.
The Law Coursework Manual gives information about Law assessments including format instructions, where, when and how to submit your coursework and detailed guidance on how to reference appropriately in Law so you do not commit plagiarism. It is available on the DLE page for this module, in the Module Documents folder.
General Advice on Your Coursework Assignment
The essay topics for this assignment are fairly broad. You are not expected to deal with every aspect of them. It is usually better to deal with a few issues in depth than take a very general approach, which will inevitably be superficial.
Answer the Question: Your answer must relate to the wording of the essay title you are supposed to be analysing. It is not enough to write everything you know about a particular aspect of law. Failure to address the title will result in very low marks. The marking criteria of awareness and analysis relate to this.
The Law: Your answer is expected to have relevant and accurate legal content. You are expected to focus on United Kingdom law, but the nature of the subject encourages you to take a comparative and/or international approach as well. It may be useful to consider both United States and European law, for example. However, you must make it clear that you are aware of the relevant jurisdiction when citing sources from overseas.
Support your argument with reference to approriate sources – e.g. textbooks, journal articles, news sources, statutes and cases
Referencing: It is essential that all sources are acknowledged. Failure to acknowledge is plagiarism and may result in a zero mark. Please use the Chicago style of referencing and ensure that your referencing is consistent. Please see the Law School Coursework Manual for further details (available in the Module Outline folder).
Other general advice:
• Read the instructions carefully and follow them!
• Look at keywords and phrases in the statement and refer to them in your discussion in order to show why the points you are making are relevant.
• Plan your work so that you have a clear and logical line of argument.
• Remember to correctly reference any case the first time you refer to it and if you directly quote or paraphrase a judicial opinion you will need to reference the relevant page number or paragraph number from the case.
• Proof read your work to check it for grammar, spelling and punctuation. Try reading it out loud to see if it makes sense!
• Please note that lecturers cannot give feedback on draft essays, but we are happy to answer specific questions and give general advice on your approach to the task.
Academic Offences: Warning
Academic offences, including plagiarism, are treated very seriously in the Faculty. There have been an increasing number of cases of students breaching the University rules on academic offences (e.g. unauthorised collusion with other students, using academic work without referencing it, buying essays from the internet, or other forms of cheating.) You must comply with the University rules, as found in the University Student Handbook and the Faculty Student Handbook. You may place your degree in jeopardy if proven to have committed an academic offence. It is your responsibility as a student to make sure that you understand what constitutes an academic offence, and in particular, what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. If you still do not understand what constitutes an academic offence, please consult the Faculty Support Office, your personal tutor, or your programme manager.
This course, like all others, is subject to external scrutiny by external examiners. These are senior academics from other universities who are appointed to ensure that students are assessed fairly, consistently and to an appropriate standard. They will be provided with samples of the work from each module, including this one. You may be asked to provide a copy of your coursework at any time prior to summer Examination Boards (in early July).
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