Dr Peter Coe is an academic associate member of Chambers. He is an Associate Professor in Law at Birmingham Law School, University of Birmingham, a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Reading, and an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Information Law and Policy Centre, University of London. In 2024 he will take up a Distinguished Research Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University.
Peter’s research interests fall within the broad field of Media Law. He is particularly interested in press freedom and regulation, free speech, defamation and privacy. His work in these areas has been published in leading international journals, and his monograph, Media Freedom in the Age Citizen Journalism, was published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2021. He is the co-editor of Landmark Cases in Privacy Law, which will be published by Hart in 2023, and the co-author of Principles of Defamation Law, which will be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2024. Peter also regularly writes for practitioner and media outlets, and is often invited to speak to the media, at international conferences, and to give guest lectures to academics, non-academics and policy makers. He is the Editor of Communications Law, one of the leading specialist journals devoted to media and technology law. He also sits on the International Editorial Boards of In Medias Res and the International Journal of Communication and New Technologies Law. In 2020 Peter became the Convenor of the Society of Legal Scholars’ Media and Communications Law subject section.
Peter’s research has led to him working with IMPRESS, which is the Press Recognition Panel approved regulator of the UK press, and the Information Commissioner’s office, on the development of their respective journalism codes. He is a member of the IMPRESS Code Committee, and between October 2021 and January 2022 he was engaged by the regulator to draft its new journalism Standards Code and Guidance. Upon invitation from the International Academy of Comparative Law and British Association of Comparative Law he is currently serving as the UK’s National Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News. And, in 2022, he was appointed by the Council of Europe as an independent member of the Council’s Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs). He has subsequently given expert evidence to the UK Government Justice Select Committee on SLAPPs and has advised and worked with the Ministry of Justice, charities, NGOs, and other organisations on various reform proposals relating to this type of litigation.
As a practitioner Peter’s areas of interest concerned defamation and reputation management, intermediary liability in respect of defamation and data protection/privacy, the use of social media and the implementation of social media policies for employers and employees, press freedom, regulation and free speech, data protection, information law and privacy, and data security and breach/crisis management.
PhD: University of Leeds, 2019
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy: 2016
Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: 2014
LLM: Distinction, 2011
PgDipLaw (Bar Vocational Course): Very Competent, 2007
LLB (Hons): First Class, 2005
Peter is a member of The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn and was the recipient of a Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship and Lord Denning (Major BVC Award) Scholarship.
Editor-in-Chief, Communications Law (2019 to present)
Research Associate, Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London (May 2018 to present)
Elected member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars (September 2017 to present)
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (from 2014 to 2016 Peter was a Fellow of the HEA and in 2016 he was made a Senior Fellow)
The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Social media, citizen journalism, free speech, media regulation, data protection and privacy:
Coe, (Re)embracing social responsibility theory as a basis for free speech: shifting the normative paradigm for a modern media, Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly (2018), 69(4), 403-431.
Coe, Anonymity and Pseudonymity: Free Speech’s Problem Children, Media & Arts Law Review (2018) 22(2) 173-200.
Coe, A right to private life at work? A tale of a Romanian, the European Court of Human Rights and the GDPR, New Law Journal 2nd February 2018.
Coe, 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 (2017) Vol. 37, No. 1, 25-53.
Coe, National security and the fourth estate in a brave new social media world in L. Scaife (ed), Social Networks as the New Frontier of Terrorism #Terror, (Routledge, 2017).
Coe, Facebook’s Frankenstein’s Monster: freedom of expression and the problem with fake news and violent and sexual content, Inforrm, 24th May 2017.
Coe, The Doctor will tweet you now – but should he face disciplinary action for doing so?, The Conversation, 21st March 2016.
Coe, Why Children Need Social Media Lessons, The Conversation, 1st November 2016/The Independent, 2nd November 2016.
Coe, The social media paradox: an intersection with freedom of expression and the criminal law, Information & Communications Technology Law (2015) Vol. 24, Issue 1, 16-40.
Defamation and corporate reputation:
Coe and Brown, 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, Vol 10, Issue 3 (Dec 2019), 286 .
Coe, A Comparative Analysis of the Treatment of Corporate Reputation in Australia and the UK in P.Wragg and A. Koltay (eds), Research Handbook on Comparative Privacy & Defamation Law (Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming).
Coe, The Defamation Act 2013: We need to talk about Corporate Reputation, Journal of Business Law, (2015), Issue 4, 313-334.
Coe, The Defamation Act 2013 and CPR 3.4 and 24: A sting in causation’s tail, Entertainment Law Review (2014) 25 (3), 93-96.
Coe, The Value of Corporate Reputation and the Defamation Act 2013: A brave new world or road to ruin?, Communications Law (2013) 18.4, 113-121.
Coe, The Defamation Act 2013: corporate claimants and causation, a debate, Inforrm, 10th February 2014.
Coe, Defamation Act 2013: The value of corporate reputation, Inforrm, 22nd January 2014.