Peter Coe


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Dr Coe welcomes expressions of interest for prospective PhD students in his areas of interest, and the field of Media Law more broadly.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Coe joined Birmingham Law School in 2022 as an Associate Professor. Prior to this he was a Lecturer in Law, and then an Associate Professor in Law, at the School of Law, University of Reading, where he 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. He still works closely with his former Reading colleagues as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow.

He has also held a Senior Lectureship in Law at Aston University, where he undertook several academic management and administrative positions relating to research and teaching, including the LLB Course Directorship, and managing the Law School's employability initiatives.

Additionally, he has 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. He remains an Associate Academic Member of East Anglian Chambers.

He holds an LLB and LLM from the University of Northampton and was awarded a PhD by the University of Leeds. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr Coe has lectured in a range of subjects, including Media Law, Technology, Privacy and Internet Regulation, Cyberlaw, Criminal Law, Criminology, Criminal Justice and aspects of Tort Law and Human Rights Law.

Research interests

Dr Coe’s research interests fall within the broad field of Media Law. A primary theme within his research agenda is the changing nature of journalism, and what this means, both normatively and theoretically, for free speech, press freedom and regulation. He is particularly interested in how the development of the internet, and the ascendancy of social media platforms, have altered the press industry and our media and communication ecology more broadly, and how this has led to significant transformative effects on the public sphere by changing the way we generate, publish, and consume information, and how we engage in public discourse generally. Dr Coe’s work in this area 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. Upon invitation from the International Academy of Comparative Law and British Association of Comparative Law, in 2021-2022 he served as the UK’s National Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News.

A separate, albeit related, strand to his research agenda is defamation law and reputation, and more specifically, the protection of corporate reputation. His work on corporate reputation has been published in leading journals, including Legal Studies and the Journal of Business Law. Aspects of this research were cited by the Scottish Law Commission in its Discussion Paper on Defamation, ultimately informing its recommendations to continue allowing bodies trading for profit to sue in defamation.

A combination of this research led to Dr Coe’s appointment by the Council of Europe as an independent member of the Council’s Expert Committee on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. 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.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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