- Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
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In the decade since 9/11, the Country has been engaged in a so-called “War on Terror.” This war has no geographic boundaries or temporal limits. The “enemy” is not a nation but a cause. This seminar explores some of the legal issues on how we conduct this war. At the foundation, we look at the major constitutional, statutory and treaty provisions that set the current “rules of engagement.” This includes the respective appropriate roles of the President, Congress and the courts. We will explore the basic legal question of our we dealing with enemies, common criminals or both.
Much of the course will built around the lessons we have learned or haven’t learned from Guantanamo.
There are also myriad of operational questions. How and where do we capture, detain, and interrogate terrorists or suspected terrorists? How do we gather information? What is the role of FISA and NSA? How does domestic surveillance differ from overseas data gathering? How do we distinguish between domestic criminals, enemy combatants and illegal enemy combatants? How do we distinguish between war enemies who may be subject to trial in military commissions and domestic terrorists who are subject to traditional criminal proceedings? Are military commissions legitimate in this context and how do they differ from article III proceedings? What are the respective roles of our many agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, the CIA, the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Security Council? What is role of local governments?
Ultimately we are faced with the question of whether this is really war, where are the boundaries between war and crime, do traditional notions of the law of war even apply?
Credit Hours: 2
Grading Option: Numeric Grade or Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: None