Dr Peter Coe

Associate Research Fellow
Email address: 
Qualifications: 
LLB, LLM, SFHEA, PhD, Barrister
Research Interests: 
  • The impact of citizen journalism, and the internet and social media, on free speech, media freedom/regulation and intermediary liability
  • Defamation and the protection of corporate reputation
  • Media power and plurality, the role the media plays within society and its impact on democracy.
Additional Information: 

I am a Lecturer in Law specialising in Media Law and Criminal Law and Associate Professor in Law at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this, I was a practising barrister specialising in privacy, defamation and reputation management, having been Called to Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 2007 as a Lord Denning Scholar and Hardwicke Entrance Scholar. I have also held a Senior Lectureship in Law at Aston University, where I taught Media Law and Criminal Law. 

My research interests are: (i) the impact of citizen journalism, and the internet and social media, on free speech, media freedom/regulation and intermediary liability; (ii) defamation and 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. My forthcoming monograph, Media Freedom in the Age Citizen Journalism, will be published by Edward Elgar in December 2021, and my co-edited collection (with Professor Paul Wragg), Landmark Cases in Privacy Law, will be published by Hart Publishing in early 2022.  In addition, I regularly write for practitioner and media outlets, such as Inforrm, and I am regularly invited to speak to the media, at conferences and to give guest lectures to academics, non-academics and policy makers.

My research led to me being invited to join the Information Law and Policy Centre (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) as a Research Associate in May 2018, and 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 media regulation led to me helping to set up, and lead, an IMPRESS Advisory Group to provide expert guidance to the 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. During 2021-2022, upon invitation from the British Association of Comparative Law, I am acting as the United Kingdom’s National Reporter on ‘Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News’. My report will be submitted to the International Academy of Comparative Law at the International Congress of Comparative Law in Asunción, Paraguay in October 2022.

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 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.

Publications: 

Coe, P. and Wragg, P. (eds), (2022) Landmark Cases in Privacy Law, Hart Publishing (in press)

Coe, P. (2022) ‘The Draft Online Safety Bill and the regulation of online harms and hate speech: have we opened Pandora’s Box?’ Journal of Media Law, forthcoming

Coe, P. (2022) ‘Press Regulation in the United Kingdom’. In: Wragg, P. and Koltay, A. (eds.) Global Perspectives on Press Regulation. Hart Publishing, forthcoming

Coe, P. (2021) Media Freedom in the Age of Citizen Journalism, Edward Elgar Publishing (in press)

Coe, P. (2020) ‘An analysis of three distinct approaches to using defamation law to protect corporate reputation from Australia, England and Wales, and Canada’ Legal Studies, 41 (1) 111-129

Coe, P. (2020) ‘A comparative analysis of the treatment of corporate reputation in Australia and the UK’. In: Wragg, P. and Koltay, A. (eds.) Research Handbook on Comparative Privacy & Defamation Law. Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 253-269

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

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

Coe, P. (2018) ‘Anonymity and pseudonymity: Free speech’s problem children’. Media & Arts Law Review, 22 (2). pp. 173-200

Coe, P. (2017) ‘National security and the fourth estate in a brave new social media world’. In: Scaife, L. (ed.) Social Networks as the New Frontier of Terrorism: #Terror. Routledge, pp. 165-192

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

Coe, P. (2015) ‘The Defamation Act 2013: We need to talk about Corporate Reputation’. Journal of Business Law (4). pp. 313-334

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

Coe, P (2015) 'Footballers and Social Media 'Faux Pas': The Football Association's Cash Cow?' Entertainment Law Review, 26(3), pp. 75-78

Coe, P (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

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