National Security Law: Legal Frameworks and National Security Decision-making

Return to Course Catalog

Spring 2013 Course
Meets: T, W, Th, T, W, Th 7:00pm - 9:00pm in Pound Hall Room 101; T, W, Th, T, W, Th 7:00pm - 9:00pm
1 classroom credit

This course will explore legal frameworks in national security policy and decision making. Legal frameworks and lexicon -- involving definitions and interpretations of evidence, burdens and standards of proof, and legal presumptions -- are often embedded in national security decision-making. These elements, which are fundamental to legal training and jurisprudence, are often incorporated into major national security policymaking, discourse, and diplomacy and are affected directly by the risk calculus applied by policymakers -- especially after 9/11. The course will review how these issues emerge in, affect, and can complicate policies related to terrorism, attribution of threats and attacks, international sanctions, and decisions to intervene globally or use military force. Particular attention will be paid to the domestic and international debate regarding the killing of Usama bin Laden, the treatment of terrorist suspects, the use of targeted financial sanctions against terrorist supporters, the Iraq war, sanctions intended to isolate nation states like Iran and North Korea, and responses to cyber and physical attacks. Active participation in classroom discussions, to include scenario-based debates, is required along with two short (3-5 page) papers. The class will be limited to no more than 50 participants.

This course will meet from 7-9pm on the following dates: March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14.

Subject Areas: Criminal Law & Procedure .

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.