Dr Peter Coe’s primary research interests are: (i) the changing nature of journalism, and how this impacts on free speech, press freedom and regulation, and the concepts of privacy and reputation; (ii) defamation, including the protection of corporate reputation; and (iii) media power and plurality, the role the media plays within society and its impact on democracy. His 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 Media Law, the Journal of Business Law and Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, amongst others, and his monograph, Media Freedom in the Age of Citizen Journalism, was published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2021. He is the co-editor, with Professor Paul Wragg, of Landmark Cases in Privacy Law, which will be published by Hart in 2023, and the co-author, with Dr David Acheson, of Principles of Defamation Law, which will be published by Edward Elgar Publishing in 2024.
Dr Coe’s research has led to several external appointments. For example, in 2024 he will take up a Distinguished Research Fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. 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. He was subsequently called to give 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. In the same year, he was appointed as a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Law, University of Reading, and in 2021 he was invited to join the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Information Law and Policy Centre as an Associate Research Fellow, having been a Research Associate at the ILPC since 2018. His work on citizen journalism, press freedom and regulation led to him helping to set up, and then lead, an IMPRESS Advisory Group to provide expert guidance to the press regulator on the creation and operation of a new regulatory scheme. He was subsequently asked to join the IMPRESS Code Committee to support its review of its Standards Code for journalists, and between October 2021 and January 2022 he was engaged by IMPRESS to draft its new Standards Code and Guidance. He has also advised the Information Commissioner’s Office on the development of its draft journalism code of practice. During 2021-2022, upon invitation from the International Academy of Comparative Law and British Association of Comparative Law, he is acting as the United Kingdom’s National Rapporteur on Freedom of Speech and the Regulation of Fake News.
Since 2019 Dr Coe has been 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. From 2017 to 2020 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society of Legal Scholars, and in 2020 he became the Convenor of the Society’s Media and Communications Law subject section.