National Security Law



SLN #: 26473
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: 021
Credit Hours: 2
Instructor(s): Gordon

Course Description:
After 9/11, the Country declared “War on Terror.” However, unlike our prior wars, this war has no geographic boundaries or temporal limits. The “enemy” is not a nation but a cause. The enemy troops come from many countries, including the United State. This seminar explores some of the legal issues on how we conduct this “war.” At the foundation, we look at the major constitutional, statutory, cases 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?

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?

The course materials will be handouts including cases, constitutional provisions, statutes, treaty excerpts, major speeches and policy papers, current headlines and articles and references to much of the current literature on these difficult subjects. There will not be any assigned textbook.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 2
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: Yes
Skills Requirement: No
Final Exam Given: No
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: None