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Communication Law and Professional Deontology

Code: 104770 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2503868 Communication in Organisations FB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Mercè Sales Jardi

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:

External teachers

Laura Camacho


Journalistic Ethics and Freedom of expression as subject does not require a previous knowledge or requisites,it is framed in the second year course in the Degree of Communication of organizations, but it is advisable to review your knowledgeacquired in the Baccalaureate or in the Degree courses related to the historical, political, legal or currentevents and subjects developed in the field of Social Sciences.

Objectives and Contextualisation

Autonomous University of Barcelona was a pioneer in the inclusion of subjects and courses with legal contentinto the university curriculum of Communication Sciences.

The goal of this course is to do an analysis considering about communication a being regulated by a legal framework not only limited to regulations, but including also the judiciary case law and interpretation. This is why their study is needed because the scope of the legal status of comunication depends onthem as responsible in many occasions. Besides, apart from the importance of having a minimum legal knowledge necessary for communication professionals, the objetive of this course is also to learn skills on  fundamental rights and the Law of communication. interpretation by the courts, which in many respects are the bodies responsible for establishing the scope ofIt is needed to focus on the knowledge of freedom of expression and information as fundamental rights for a democratic society. The student will achieve a knowledge of the International, European, statewide and autonomous legal framework as well as the legal research tools helpful for the development of communication contents.

The course aims to acquire knowledge, skills and competences in these three areas:

- an introduction to the normative order and structure that affect communication activity, that is, basic notions aboutthe legal system and the legal regulation and framework of fundamental rights

- legal and ethical rules in the field of the rights to the freedom of expression and information in organizations, doing simultanoulsy analysis of practical content.

- regulation and self-regulation of the exercise of the communication profession at autonomous and statewide level


  • Display thorough knowledge of the contemporary world in its social, economic, political and cultural dimensions.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Students must have and understand knowledge of an area of study built on the basis of general secondary education, and while it relies on some advanced textbooks it also includes some aspects coming from the forefront of its field of study.
  • Work in compliance with professional codes of conduct.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Accept disagreement and show no disrespect to other persons, groups or institutions for reasons of race, gender, disability, etc.
  2. Apply the principles of professional ethics and the law to the production and dissemination of the organisation's information.
  3. General original ideas on the legal context affecting organisations.
  4. Interpret and discuss documents on the law governing information and professional standards.
  5. Interpret the legal context to develop critical thinking and generate original ideas.
  6. Plan and conduct academic studies in the field of communication law and professional standards.
  7. Present a summary of the studies made, orally and in writing.
  8. Recognise and describe organisations' ethical codes in the context of Spain and that of the European Union.
  9. Work independently to solve problems and take strategic decisions on the basis of the knowledge acquired.


Unit 1. Freedom of communication as a constitutional institution (art. 20 CE)

Unit 2. Limits to freedom of communication.

Unit 3. The legal nature of organizations. Public and private organizations

Unit 4. The main public and private organizations in the internal area. Organization and functions

Unit 5. The main organizations in the international field. Organization and functions.

Unit 6. Rights and obligations of the organization when communicating. Veracity. Transparency. Data Protection. Rectification.

Unit 7. The responsibility of organizations. Civil, administrative, criminal

Unit 8. Rights and Responsibilities of the communicator for the communication acts of its organization.

Unit 9. Self-regulation, ethics and internal and ethical codes of organizations.



The learning process focuses on the work of the student, who learns working on study, being the mission oflecturers to guide in this learning task by providing information, promoting independent thinking and discussionand showing the sources for learning.

Teaching lessons and training of the student is based on the following activities:


a) Theoretical classes: Master classes

b) Seminars

c) Individual or group work on a specific topic or learning activity


a) Tutorials

b) Individual


a) Reading, analysis and synthesis of texts, preparation and completion of works 

b)Comprehensive readingof texts and studies, recensions, bibliographical essays and drafting of diagrams, conceptual maps andsummaries.


a) Assessment activities 

b) Expression of oral or written knowledge


The proposed teaching methodology and evaluation activities may undergo some modifications depending on the health authorities' attendance restrictions. 

The calendar will be available on the first day of class. Students will find all information on the Virtual Campus: the description of the activities, teaching materials, and any necessary information for the proper follow-up of the subject. In case of a change of teaching modality for health reasons, teachers will make readjustments in the schedule and methodologies.

Students will be entitled to the revaluation of the subject. They should present a minimum of activities that equals two-thirds of the total grading. To have access to revaluation, the previous grades should be equal to 3,5.

The student who performs any irregularity (copy, plagiarism, identity theft...) will be qualified with 0 in this assignment or exam. In case there are several irregularities, the final grade of the subject will be 0. 


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Master lessons 15 0.6 2, 7, 4, 5, 8
Seminars and practical lessons 30 1.2 1, 2, 7, 4
Type: Supervised      
Drafting of sheets, case studies, schemas and writings 5 0.2 2, 7, 6, 9
Tutories 5 0.2 1, 7, 6, 9
Type: Autonomous      
Drafting of works 10 0.4 2, 7, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9
Research of documentation and bibliography 5 0.2 2, 5, 6, 8, 9
Study and lecture readings 19 0.76 2, 5, 6, 8, 9


System of evaluation of the competencies achieved and system of qualifications.

The competences of this matter will be evaluated through the following systems:

a) written exams (multiple-choice, open questions or development). 50%

b) Reading and written work 10%

c) Evaluation of the activities undertaken and the quality of the interventions of the students in the seminars, 10%.

d) Activities in seminars 30%


The proposed teaching methodology and evaluation activities may undergo some modifications depending on the health authorities' attendance restrictions. 

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Active participation differnt of seminars and practical lessons 10% 11 0.44 7, 3, 4, 9
Practical lessons: correction and evaluation in the classroom, continuous evaluation 30% 36 1.44 1, 2, 7, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
Review or work on monographic readings and control of these readings 10% 10 0.4 2, 7, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
Written Exam Parcial 25% Final 25% 4 0.16 2, 7, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9



-  Ignacio BEL, Loreto CORREDOIRA, Derecho de la información. El ejercicio del derecho a la información y su jurisprudencia, Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales, 2015

-  Carolina BLASCO, El derecho a la cláusula de conciencia de los profesionales de la información, Editorial Bomarzo 2009.

-  Lluís DE CARRERAS. Las normas jurídicas de los periodistas. Derecho español de la información. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona.

-  Juan Carlos GAVARA, Josu DE MIGUEL; Sabrina RAGONE, S. (eds.) El control de los cibermedios, Barcelona, J.M.Bosch, 2014.

-  Juan Carlos GAVARA; Josu DE MIGUEL.; Daniel CAPODIFERRO, D. (eds.) El control judicial de los medios de comunicación, Barcelona, J.M. Bosch, 2015

-  Nuria SAURA. Libertad de expresión y derecho a promover y proteger los derechos humanos, Barcelona, J.M. Bosch, 2015

-  Antonio TORRES DEL MORAL, A.(dir.) Libertades informativas, Colex.

- María Jesús GARCÍA MORALES, "La prohibición de la censura en la era digital", Teoría y realidad nº31, 2013.




Complementary Bibliography will be provided during the course


The Virtual Campus and the Moodle Classroom will be used during the realization of the subject. Through it the teaching staff will inform of all the questions related to the subject.