National Security Law LL.M.

LAW 3151 v00 Advanced National Security Law and the Sea

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine how sovereign States apply the law of sea, other international and domestic laws, and oceans policy to issues affecting national security. Foundational provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, to include baselines, maritime zones, transit regimes, flag and port State control of activities aboard ships, marine environmental protection and access to seaborne resources, and military uses of the sea, will be explored through case studies and hypotheticals. Students will examine how the substance, structure, and practice of the developing law of the sea intersects with other international legal principles and regimes, such as territorial sovereignty and the law of armed conflict, and with domestic and international laws and policies concerning space, cyberspace, electronic warfare, and intelligence collection and sharing. Students will assess the various mechanisms States have implemented to avoid dangerous incidents at sea, seek peaceful resolutions to maritime disputes, and combat illegal seaborne activities. From Great Power Competition to Pacific Island Nation food security, from countering nuclear proliferation to humanitarian assistance/disaster relief, students will explore how the law of the sea is both shaped by and shapes States’ responses to national security challenges.

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • Exhibit an understanding of the history, foundational provisions, and differing interpretations of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • Gain an understanding of how law of the sea and oceans policy interrelates with current national security issues.
  • Develop the skill to apply the law of the sea, other international and domestic laws, and oceans policy to national security challenges and effectively communicate opinions and analysis to senior national security leaders.

LAW 2094 v00 Advanced Topics in International Humanitarian Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar is intended to provide students with an interest in international humanitarian law (IHL) with an opportunity to undertake indepth research, and write a substantial paper, on key issues in IHL. Potential topics include thresholds for the application of IHL, the interface of IHL with human rights law and domestic law, the protection of civilians and non-combatants from the effects of conflict, the application of IHL protections to unprivileged belligerents, the standards for detention under IHL, including both permissible duration and treatment, emerging trends regulating the use of lethal force as a first resort under IHL, arms control and IHL (landmines, cluster munitions, autonomous weapons), the application of IHL to cyber “warfare”, U.S. interpretation of customary and treaty IHL, the efficacy of IHL in current conflicts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and other topics. Building upon a foundation of assigned readings on core IHL topics, the professors and students will tailor classroom work to coincide with the students’ research projects. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and to share their own research during the semester with other students.

Students will receive individualized feedback from the professors on outlines and drafts of their paper, as well as an opportunity to present their paper to the professors and other students in class to help identify issues and sharpen their analysis.

Learning objectives:

Through a structured process, to develop a scholarly paper on international humanitarian law, we aim to give the student, working closely with the professor, an opportunity to explore his or her topic in depth and to write a paper worthy of publication in a law journal.

Strongly Recommended: Courses in public international law, human rights law or international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict).

LAW 1740 v00 Artificial Intelligence and National Security: Law, Ethics, and Technology

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This one-credit course provides students with an appreciation of the legal, ethical, and technical issues raised by the proliferation of artificial intelligence in the field of national security. The focus of the course is to enable students as lawyers, leaders, and policymakers to grapple with these issues by giving them an understanding of how artificial intelligence operates; its potential and likely use in different national security settings; and how each use raises distinctive legal and ethical questions involving predictability, trustworthiness, responsibility, and accountability. The course will use examples and case studies to illustrate these issues, as well as videos to depict some of the technical aspects of artificial intelligence.

The specific learning objectives for the course are for students to understand the following:

(1) How artificial intelligence operates, including the concept of an algorithm, how it is trained on data, the statistical models that underlie this training and the basis for its outputs, machine learning, deep learning and neural networks, and the ways in which human choices and interactions shape this process. No technical background in statistics or computer science is necessary, since the goal is to explain these concepts in accessible terms.

(2)  Artificial intelligence as a system involving human-machine teaming, the roles that each member of the team potentially plays at different points in the process, and the concept of trustworthy artificial intelligence.

(3) The role that artificial intelligence is playing in the national security field, its capabilities and potential applications to specific areas, and the extent to which global competition to employ and refine artificial intelligence is itself a national security issue.

(4) Limitations and risks of artificial intelligence, and possible ways to address them.

Assessment will be based on paper of 3,000 words (about 12 doubled-spaced pages) discussing a legal, ethical, or technological issue relevant to the course.

Note: In Spring 2023 this course will meet on the following dates: 3/7, 3/21, 3/28, 4/4, 4/11, 4/18 and 4/25.

LAW 3038 v00 Biosecurity and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is designed to provide students an understanding of current and emerging issues concerning biosecurity and relevant law. Recent global acts of terrorism coupled with sophisticated advances in biotechnology present a host of complex issues driving biosecurity analysis and discussion. We will examine both the history and current state of bioterrorism threats with an emphasis on the legal and ethical challenges as we "sort out" best methods for moving forward. Our analysis will explore the recent Zika and Ebola threats as well as the threats posed by prior H1N1, SARS, anthrax, smallpox, SARIN, Ricin, and even the possibilities stemming from genetically engineered once thought "dead" bio-threats. Our method of instruction will focus on significant legal challenges each week. We will however, use past examples of quarantine and cordon sanitaire applications to instruct as how best to legally address future possible pandemics. Within our course exercises, students will be assigned healthcare and legal roles in order to gain insight as to management of a true healthcare crisis. Guest speakers with knowledge of crisis management will be invited to share personal experiences and advice concerning future pandemics. We will also examine recent legislation, both domestic and international, with a view toward a better understanding of the complex challenges within biosecurity.

Note: NOTE: In the Fall 2021 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

LAW 3022 v00 Challenges in National Security Law: A Seminar for Mid-Career LLMs

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

This course is intended to introduce mid-career LLM attorneys to the substance, process, and practice of national security law at the national level. Thus, it mimics the structure of the longer three-credit “Managing National Security” course in structure, but defers in two important ways. First, it focuses on legal policy at the national level, e.g., instead of considering the law of armed conflict at a tactical level and strategic level, the focus is on how Presidents make use of force decisions. Second, it assumes mid-career knowledge of the law. Thus, there is less survey of the material and substantive law and more discussion of contemporary issues and challenges, geared toward preparing mid-career lawyers to meet the substantive and ethical challenges of senior billets. In this way, the classroom will almost be "flipped."


Requirements: The grade will be based on class participation (50%) and a 10-20 page paper (50%) addressing a procedural or legal issue of national security importance. In addition, students will be required to meet at least once with the professor to discuss their career path and goals.

Prerequisite: The seminar is limited to LLM students who have practiced or will practice in the field of national security law, e.g., judge advocates, USG attorneys, NGO attorneys. Thus, while there are no course perquisites per se, a mid-career knowledge of law and process is assumed.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Mutually Excluded Course: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Managing National Security.

Note: Please contact the professor for permission to enroll in the course.

LAW 1529 v00 China and International Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Over the past forty years, China has gone from one of the most isolated countries in the world to a major player in international affairs, a leading exporter, and a much more influential voice on regional security matters. Yet even with the rapid economic growth and increased influence that China has achieved over the past several decades, it maintains an ambivalent attitude towards many key aspects of international law and the architecture of global order. This class will explore China’s ambivalent engagement with international law in the context of its increasing prominence as an emerging power, and will in particular look to address the question of how China might adapt to the existing world order, and the ways in which it might look to influence its evolution. The class will cover a range of issues, including China’s membership in the WTO; its engagement with the international human rights regime; China’s approach to international cooperation on issues like global warming and nuclear non-proliferation; and international law aspects of the dispute over the South China Sea; among others.

Learning Objectives:

This class will provide you with a solid understanding of China’s approach to key international law issues, and also a sense of the Chinese government’s views on international law and international legal institutions more generally. By the end of the semester, you should have a sense of how China fits into the existing global legal order, and the ways in which it is seeking to influence or even alter it. In-class discussions will also bring out the ways in which other states have sought to influence Chinese behavior, which will give you a sense of how and when relatively powerful states like China can be convinced to alter their approach to key international law issues.

For students who have not previously taken a class on public international law, this course will serve as a basic introduction to key concepts of international law (although the readings will focus very heavily on the Chinese approach, rather than the underlying law itself); for those who have taken prior international law courses, this course will serve as a useful refresher.

A core goal of the class is to understand international law from the perspective of the Chinese state. In other words, students will develop a sense of why China makes the choices it does on key international law issues, and what values and political and historical dynamics drive its decision-making. In so doing, students will gain insight into a different political-legal culture, and seek to understand how different political-legal systems – including non-democratic ones like China – come to grips with legal questions in ways that may differ markedly from the approach of the U.S. government. At the same time, having taken steps to articulate China’s perspective, students may be able to see more clearly the values and political and historical factors that drive American decisions on key international law issues.

Finally, a core goal of the response papers – above and beyond demonstrating an understanding of the substance of the readings – will be to give students the chance to build their skills at analyzing legal arguments, and in building their own written arguments in response to them. As noted below, response papers will be graded both on the basis of demonstrated mastery of the material, and also on the basis of the successful construction of a persuasive and fact-based argument.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. Students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The 3 credit section is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 3078 v00 Commercial Space Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will provide an overview of U.S. domestic legal regimes that govern commercial spaceflight activities, including those managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Communications Commission, Department of Commerce, U.S. Defense Department and State Department. The course will examine existing regulations and statutes as well as current discussions about changes to policy and law to address the evolving nature of the space industry and U.S. national space priorities. Examples include the Space Force, space traffic management, and oversight of non-traditional commercial activities in light of international treaty obligations. 

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in administrative law, regulatory law or international law

LAW 080 v00 Computer Crime Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will explore the legal issues that judges, legislators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys confront as they respond to the recent dramatic increase in computer-related crime.  In particular, we will consider how crimes online challenge traditional approaches to the investigation, prosecution, and defense of crime that have evolved from our experience with crimes in physical space.  Topics will include: the Fourth Amendment online, the law of electronic surveillance, computer hacking and other computer crimes, cyberterrorism, the First Amendment and the Internet, and civil liberties online.

Although much of this class involves computer and internet technology, no prior technical background or knowledge is required.

Any technology that needs to be understood will be explained in class, and students should not hesitate to ask for other technical explanations.

LAW 1486 v01 Congressional Oversight of the Executive Branch

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

“Quite important as lawmaking is vigilant oversight of administration.”

“The informing function of Congress should be preferred even to its legislative function.”

Woodrow Wilson1

The above quotes capture the central theme for this seminar, which explores Congress’ oversight of the Executive Branch. Oversight and investigation are one of Congress’ primary means of asserting its role in the Constitutional scheme of separated powers. Historically, this assertion creates tensions that forces interplay among the three coordinate branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. This course will examine these issues as well as review the tools Congress uses to execute its powers. This includes the full range of Congress’ compulsory powers through the issuance of subpoenas, grants of immunity, contempt rulings, and enforcement actions in civil and criminal court. Students will use major investigations as case studies to demonstrate these processes. Students will be asked to assume roles as various actors in the process, which includes members of Congress and their staffs; officials in the executive branch, and the judiciary.


1Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government, (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1885), 303

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will understand the interplay among the three coordinate branches as a result of our constitutional structure, and how these structural relationships impact law and policy-making.
  2. Students will understand the tools at Congress’s disposal to effect legislative oversight and congressional investigations. To borrow a phrase from one of our texts, “you will learn how the worlds of lawmaking, law-implementing, law-interpreting, and law-enforcing connect.”

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System; prior or concurrent enrollment in Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Congressional Investigations Seminar or Congressional Investigations and the Modern Government Inquiry.

LAW 089 v00 Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar deals with the distribution of powers between the president and Congress in the areas of war, diplomacy, international organizations, foreign assistance, commerce, money, etc. as well as the distribution of powers between the national and state governments. Such related matters as the impact on individual rights and the political question doctrine in this context are also discussed.

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I (or Democracy and Coercion).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Foreign Relations Law.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class.

A student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal BY PROFESSOR PERMISSION ONLY.

LAW 2070 v00 Corporate National Security Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Corporate National Security Law explores important legal issues arising out of the U.S. government’s reliance on the private sector for its national security, and the increasing convergence and conflict between national security, technology, and the private sector. The course will include sections focusing on: (1) privatization and insourcing/outsourcing issues for the U.S. government in the national security arena; (2) government contracts issues in the national security sphere; (3) export controls and sanctions; (4) classified information and secrecy issues; and (5) emerging issues at the intersection of national security, technology, and the private sector. 

LAW 790 v09 Criminal Law Across Borders

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

“Criminal law across borders” studies two bodies of law. One is domestic (national) criminal law applied to crimes committed outside national territory. The other is crimes under international law: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and aggression. These are the “core crimes” tried by courts like the Nuremberg Tribunal, the tribunals for Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Along with the substantive law on these issues, we examine procedural law on topics such as jurisdiction, extradition, and immunity from prosecution. The course will also examine the problems confronting international criminal justice today, including the political backlash against holding leaders accountable for core crimes. The aim of the course is to introduce students to basic doctrines of international criminal law, as well as doctrines concerning the extraterritorial application of U.S. criminal law. It also provides an overview of the work of international criminal tribunals and the challenges they face. The course combines law, policy, and history.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course, International Criminal Law or International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes or International Humanitarian Law and International Criminal Courts.

Note: This course is a first-year elective. First-year day students select an elective offered in the spring.

LAW 1127 v00 Cyber and National Security: Current Issues Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will examine legal and policy issues related to cybersecurity -- that is, hacking and other intrusions on global computer and communications networks. The primary focus will be the national security implications of cybersecurity and the current challenges that senior lawyers, policymakers, and the private sector face in addressing those issues.  The course will look at international and U.S. domestic law and will examine cyber issues both from the perspective of (1) the U.S. government entities that seek to use cyber tools to further military and other national security aims, and (2) the many government and private sector actors who must defend against the use of these tools use by others.  The goal of the course is to introduce students to the complex legal and policy issues that senior national security decision-makers must address and to provide insight into the practical challenges they present.  The focus of the class is law and policy, not technology.  You do not need a technical background to take the course.

Recommended: International Law and/or national security related course.

LAW 2052 v00 Cybersecurity Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This interactive lecture course will explore various legal and policy issues related to enabling a safe and secure Internet and protecting government and private sector networks. The topics to be discussed include relevant U.S. legal authorities, cybersecurity roles and responsibilities of government agencies, private sector cybersecurity risk management, information sharing, Internet governance, and the application of international law to nation state activity in cyberspace. Lectures by the professor and occasional guests with relevant expertise will be used to stimulate class discussion. Students will be assigned a reflection assignment following each of a number of in-class table top exercises. There will be a four-hour take-home exam that must be completed during the first week of the exam period.

LAW 3066 v00 Cybersecurity Law & Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will serve as an advanced LL.M. seminar covering topics in cybersecurity law and policy, with a focus on national and homeland security, military, intelligence law and international aspects. The seminar format is a combination of lecture and class discussion. This seminar is intended to serve as a complement to Cybersecurity Law, and students are welcome to take both courses. Grading will be based on a combination of short and/or medium length papers, active class participation and a final class presentation.

Recommended: Prior coursework in national security law highly recommended.

Note: This course is part of the following graduate programs: Master of Law and Technology National Security Law LL.M. Technology Law & Policy LL.M.

LAW 1794 v00 Domestic Violent Extremism Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will address domestic violent extremism (DVE), an increasingly urgent matter of public concern that raises complex legal and policy issues.  The violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented event.  It was, however, the culmination of several years during which domestic violent extremists increasingly organized themselves into paramilitary units, committed racially and politically motivated violence, intimidated people seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, and threatened government officials fulfilling their responsibilities.  In March 2021 the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that the intelligence community:

assesses that domestic violent extremists (DVEs) who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat to the Homeland in 2021. Enduring DVE motivations pertaining to biases against minority populations and perceived government overreach will almost certainly continue to drive DVE radicalization and mobilization to violence.

In June 2021 the White House issued its Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, recognizing the significance of the threat and the need for a comprehensive approach focused on information sharing, prevention, disruption and deterrence, and resilience.  In January 2022 the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division declared that “attacks in recent years underscore the threat that domestic terrorism continues to pose to our citizens, to law enforcement officers and elected officials, and to our democratic institutions,” and announced the creation of a domestic terrorism unit at the Department.

Addressing domestic violent extremism raises a host of complex questions relating to law enforcement, national security, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the right to petition regarding grievances, the right to bear arms, voting rights, and the appropriate scope of counterterrorism operations.  This course will introduce students to these issues, enhance their ability to engage in rigorous analysis of them, and enable them to formulate responses consistent with the rule of law and in respect of civil rights and civil liberties.  This analysis will be informed by an understanding of the history, nature, and sources of DVE, as well as the organizational and associational structures that it may take.

Assessment will be based on a paper of 3,000 words analyzing a legal or policy issue related to domestic violent extremism and proposing options for addressing it.

The learning objectives for this course are for students to:

(1) Become familiar with the history, nature, sources, and structure of DVE in the United States;

(2) Understand and be able to analyze the wide range of constitutional issues that policymakers and lawyers must assess in attempting to address such extremism;

(3) Understand and be able to analyze the statutory and common law legal considerations that are relevant in addressing DVE;

(4) Appreciate the policy considerations that should inform analysis of DVE; and

(5)  Formulate potential responses to DVE on the federal, state, and local level that appropriately weigh competing considerations based on rigorous analysis of the issues described above.

Note: This course will meet on the following Mondays, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm: 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13, 2/23 (Monday classes meet), 2/27 and 3/6.

LAW 1745 v00 Foreign Intelligence Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The 20th century witnessed swift expansion of the U.S. national security infrastructure. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor and faced by an existential threat, institutions tasked with protecting the country sought to collect information about potential threats both at home and abroad. The Church and Pike Committees and Rockefeller Commission subsequently uncovered widespread domestic surveillance programs, prompting Congress to pass the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and to create specialized courts to oversee applications for electronic surveillance. Congress expanded the Court’s remit in 1994 to include orders for physical search, and again, in 1998, to authorize the use of pen register and trap and trace devices, (capturing the numbers dialed and the calls received), as well as to collect certain business records. The attacks of 9/11 led to significant programmatic and statutory changes to FISA, as well as parallel foreign intelligence collection instruments and regimes. With the advent of new technologies, the system is now beset by myriad questions with critical constitutional, statutory, and regulatory implications.

This course focuses on the evolution of U.S. foreign intelligence collection, taking into account the history and evolution of the law as well as the pressing and difficult questions posed by technology. Discussion will draw on Georgetown Law Library’s Foreign Intelligence Collection, which houses nearly 100 declassified FISC/FISCR opinions and 300 orders in the public domain, as well as the more than 130 FISA-related cases in ordinary Article III courts. The course emphasizes the NSA, FBI, CIA, and NCTC targeting, querying, and minimization procedures and the required annual reporting, as well as special reports detailing prominent use of FISA authorities in investigations during the 2016 Presidential election. The class will examine other intelligence collection conducted under Executive Order 12333, National Security Letters, SIGINT and DoD Directives, Attorney General Guidelines, and other associated documents, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of foreign intelligence law. It will pair a deep understanding of the different forms of intelligence collection with constitutional and statutory law. With the advent of the Internet of Things, next generation social media, 6G networks, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the landscape is about to again shift. Accordingly, the course will delve into new and emerging technologies, looking at how they fit – or fail to fit – current law.

LAW 3093 v00 Foreign Investment & National Security: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore foreign direct investment in the United States from the national security perspective through an analysis of the Executive Branch inter-agency body known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).  Students will review the evolution of CFIUS from the Exon-Florio amendment, to the Committee as it exists today, including, but not limited to, the relevant authorities, policy implications, case law, and transactional risk analysis frameworks upon which CFIUS.  The course will also examine current events in the national security space to determine how those events have informed recent legislative action taken by Congress with respect to CFIUS and how those legislative changes are implemented by the committee in regulation.

Recommended: National Business Law, National Security Regulation, National Security Law and the Private Sector

LAW 3069 v00 Foreign Policy Challenges and the Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will use a mixture of case studies and more conventional course materials to examine the role that the law and lawyers play in making U.S. foreign policy and addressing related challenges, with a particular focus on legal innovation. The course lectures will address lawyers' roles in the inter-agency policy-making process and models of legal decision-making and how they intersect with bureaucratic process. The case studies, which may include the following, will periodically feature guest speakers who were actively involved in the cases being discussed:

  • The 1979 Iran Embassy hostage crisis, the negotiation of the Algiers Accord, and the establishment of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal;
  • The 1988 Lockerbie bombing and its aftermath, leading up to the 2003 agreement to normalize U.S.-Libyan relations;
  • The establishment of U.N. sanctions regimes following the 9/11 attacks, and the manner in which they were implemented by U.N. member states;
  • The Development Fund for Iraq established by the United Nations and United States following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the manner in which it was used to help Iraq navigate its economic normalization; and,
  • The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) relating to Iran's nuclear program, and the manner in which it interacted with relevant sanctions and other legislation.

Recommended: Familiarity with foreign relations or international law is recommended.

LAW 089 v03 Foreign Relations Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This is an advanced course on constitutional principles bearing on U.S. foreign relations: primarily, separation of powers, federalism and judicial review of Executive acts and congressional legislation. It focuses on some of the most challenging issues that have divided the American polity from the inception of the Republic and continue to do so today, e.g., the allocation of foreign affairs power between the Executive and Congress; the scope of Presidential power to protect the nation in times of danger; and the proper role of the courts in deciding legal issues relating to national security.  We will study historical materials that inform the legal arguments on both sides of current controversies over Presidential and Congressional power and discuss foreign relations issues under judicial review in 2020. We also study the power to make treaties and executive agreements, the Supremacy clause and application of customary international law by U.S. courts.

Recommended: There are no prerequisites, but familiarity with basic principles of U.S. government is important.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. courses, Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar or U.S. Foreign Relations and National Security Law.

Note: FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

NOTE: For the Fall 2021 semester, mandatory first class attendance rules will not be enforced for this course. Enrolled students will not be dropped if not in attendance at the start of the first class, and waitlisted students will remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist if not in attendance at the start of the first class. 

LAW 3152 v00 Front Lines and Foreign Risk: National Security Through the Lens of CFIUS and Team Telecom

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will examine how the United States increasingly relies on two committees to assess risks to national security arising from foreign investment in the United States and foreign participation in telecommunications. Specifically, this course will provide students the opportunity to compare and contrast the assessment processes established by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector (Team Telecom). To establish a foundation, students will consider the history of CFIUS and Team Telecom since the millennium and examine how successive administrations and Congress have shaped foreign risk reviews, which have dramatically increased in frequency, gravity, and complexity with greater public visibility. Students will assess how CFIUS and Team Telecom reviews fit within the broader U.S. national security strategy and will consider the increasingly prevalent view that economic security is national security. Students will learn that although national security priorities vary from administration to administration, bipartisan attention has continued to focus on risks related to foreign investment in the United States, particularly regarding the development of critical technologies. Throughout this course, students will be encouraged to consider how the government balances the benefits of foreign investment and participation, including promotion of economic growth, productivity, competitiveness, and job promotion, while protecting national security.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Foreign Investment & National Security: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

LAW 2065 v00 Gender and U.S. Foreign Policy

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In recent years, the U.S. has developed a comprehensive policy framework that recognizes gender equality as a pillar of U.S. foreign policy and international law. This class will introduce and analyze these policies, including the U.S. National Security Strategy; the Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017; the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally; State Department and USAID policy guidance on gender. We will examine the legal basis for women's human rights, as well as the body of evidence linking women's advancement to development, prosperity, and stability. Issues covered will include gender and economic growth, peace and security, political participation, development, gender-based violence,  and international institutions and treaties. This class will feature prominent guest speakers in the field.

LAW 068 v01 Global Revolutions, Civic Activism, and Civil Society

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Around the world, people are mobilizing to defend democracy, protect human rights, and promote sustainable development. We’ll study the international legal framework for civic activism, examining laws governing protests, social justice movements, and and nonprofit organizations. We’ll also explore the impact of national security, authoritarianism, and digital technology on civic space.

We'll take a global tour, comparing approaches in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. We'll discuss current events, play the role of UN Ambassadors, and help countries draft laws.

This class will provide skills and contacts to help you pursue a career in international human rights law. Past classes have spoken with UN officials, a lawyer for a group allegedly engaged in terrorism, and frontline human rights defenders.

Eligible students are eligible to apply for internships at ICNL, which works on the legal framework for civil society and democracy in 100 countries.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the semester, you should have the ability to:

  1. Analyze international law governing the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression;
  2. Evaluate the extent to which national legislation complies with international law;
  3. Craft arguments to bring national legislation closer to international law and good practice;
  4. Communicate effectively with diplomats, government officials, and civic activists;
  5. Analyze ethical aspects that arise in crafting laws that affect the freedoms of association, assembly, and expression; and
  6. Assess the impact of law on nonprofit organizations, social movements, and protests.

Note: Space is limited.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety, or to make suitable alternative arrangements with the professor, may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 037 v00 Immigration Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will examine the U.S. immigration system through legal and policy perspectives. We will explore the source, scope and constitutional limits of congressional power to regulate immigration; the executive branch implementation of immigration legislation, particularly procedures for entry and removal, and the extent of, as well as constitutional constraints on, Presidential power; and the administrative and judicial review of executive branch action. Close attention will be paid to how membership laws and policies are established and implemented: What laws and policies govern U.S. citizenship? Who is eligible to become a legal immigrant? How are annual admissions numbers set? How and why are family and employment priorities created? How does the U.S. protect refugees? With respect to the arrival of unaccompanied children from abroad, we will consider the laws and policies that govern how the U.S. government treats them. Unauthorized migration will also be examined to understand why some migrants do not use the legal route into the U.S. and what laws and policies the U.S. has in place to deter such unlawful movements at the border and control unlawful presence in the interior. We will analyze the impact of the major 1996 immigration control legislation and its implementation, with particular attention to detention and removal. We will closely examine the role of the Justice Department’s Immigration Courts, with special attention to access to justice issues. We will explore the extraordinary need for, and challenges of, immigration law reform, as well as the particular situation of the Dreamers, children without lawful immigration status brought to and raised in the United States by their parents. Finally, we will assess the various changes implemented by the Trump and Biden Administrations, particularly in connection with the treatment of asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, the resettlement of refugees from abroad, and the removal of unauthorized immigrants.

LAW 037 v02 Immigration Law and Policy

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will cover the constitutional and political framework for the U.S. Immigration System, enforcement and adjudication agencies, immigrants, nonimmigrants, removals and deportations, detention and bond, immigration hearings, judicial review, grounds for removal and inadmissibility, “crimmigration,” immigration reform, “Chevron” deference, refugee and asylum status and other international protections. It will also include reading and analyzing major immigration cases like INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca, 480 U.S. 421 (1987) (well-founded fear) and Matter of Kasinga, 21 I&N Dec. 357 (BIA 1996) (female genital mutilation).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework.

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 939 v00 Immunity Under International Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The attempted extradition of Gen. Pinochet from the U.K. to Spain to account for torture and disappearances in Chile, a tragic car accident in Washington, D.C. in which a sixteen year old is killed by a Georgian diplomat, the alleged expropriation of your corporate client’s investment interests by a foreign government, a civil lawsuit against President Mugabe of Zimbabwe during a visit to the U.S., a criminal case in Chicago against a foreign consular officer for aiding and abetting a fugitive -- such cases bring into sharp relief the operation of international immunities. This two-credit course aims to introduce students to the range of jurisdictional immunities recognized by international law and how they are implemented in domestic law. We will cover diplomatic and consular immunity, foreign sovereign (or foreign state) immunity, the immunities accorded to heads of state and government, and the special status of international organizations and their staff and member representatives, including the United Nations, its specialized agencies and individuals on special missions. Increasingly, practicing lawyers (especially those who represent governments and international organizations or who practice in places where embassies, consulates, missions and international institutions are located) need to be familiar with the reach of these rules and doctrines, and the exceptions thereto. Our focus will be on the practical application of the various international conventions, domestic statutes, and judicially crafted rules which define the law of international immunities.

Prerequisite: No prerequisites, but some familiarity with basic international law and the process of civil litigation is strongly recommended.

Strongly Recommended: Introduction to International Law

Note: Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 3118 v00 Information Operations in the Cyber Age: Law and Policy

LL.M Seminar | 2 credit hours

Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the spread of misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the threat of deep fakes have all increased government – and public – attention on the national security threats posed by both State and non-State actors use of information and disinformation. Whether referred to as propaganda, psychological operations, influence operations, or information warfare, States have used information to further their national security interests for many years.

While these activities are not new, cyber capabilities and modern communications technologies have increased both their reach and effectiveness. The use of data to micro-target audiences via social media, leveraging hacked and leaked information, the dissemination of non and misattributed messages to a mass audience, and the potential use of deep fakes all challenge current policy approaches and existing legal norms. This class will examine the U.S. domestic legal and policy issues, as well as the International legal issues, arising from the use of information and disinformation as an instrument of national power.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for the course are for students to:

  1. Become familiar with how States use information as an instrument of national power, to include past use of propaganda and modern use of disinformation.
  2. Appreciate how cyber capabilities have transformed the use of information by States, and the increased threats to national security posed by these activities.
  3. Gain an understanding of the domestic and international law governing State informational activities, including the limitations faced by the US Government imposed by the Constitution and US federal law.
  4. Understand the role of, and rules applicable to, private actors in monitoring and controlling online communication.
  5. Understand how to analyze the different information activities and the applicable legal regimes.

Recommended: International Law course

LAW 342 v03 Information Privacy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an introduction to information privacy law both on the books and on the ground. Topics covered include the constitutional, common law, and consumer protection foundations of U.S. information privacy law; the European approach to privacy and data protection; the “life cycle of data,” with particular regard to regulatory issues and new challenges posed by algorithmic and/or data-driven practices; and sectoral privacy regimes in national security, employment, health, education, finance, and communications.

Learning goals for this course: Critical mastery of the existing doctrinal, statutory, regulatory, and policy landscapes and the complex interrelationships among them; critical mastery of the privacy compliance considerations that confront both private- and public-sector organizations; awareness of international differences in the treatment of information privacy issues and some comparative exposure to European information privacy and data protection law in particular.

LAW 342 v05 Information Privacy Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course serves as an introduction to the field of "information privacy law." The goal of the course is to equip students with the vocabulary, legal toolkit, and conceptual knowledge to enter the this rapidly-expanding area of law as a practitioner, an academic, or something in between. The course will trace the development and meanings of privacy in American law from the famous 1890 Harvard Law Review article "The Right to Privacy" by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis to the modern problems of privacy in the information age. Particular emphasis will be placed upon modern policy problems involving privacy, including privacy and the media, Fourth Amendment law, health privacy, Internet privacy, FTC regulation, emerging technologies, the problems caused by government and private-sector databases, and the prospects of federal privacy reform in 2021. The focus of the course is on US law, but we will necessarily examine the internationalization of the field, including the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the "Right to Be Forgotten." Attendance and participation are essential.

Note: Please note that laptop computers are not permitted in class.

LAW 905 v00 Intelligence Reform and the Modern Intelligence Community

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course is an introduction to intelligence law as discussed in the context of changes to the Intelligence Community. The course focuses on changes to the law made in response to reviews and reports conducted following the attacks of September 11, 2001, and how those changes have been implemented in policy and practice. Students will examine legislative efforts to enhance information sharing and intelligence collection, such as the creation of the Director of National Intelligence, the modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and more recent proposals to reform surveillance laws and policies in the context of global discussions of privacy and civil liberties. In addition, the course will address complexities faced by national security lawyers in protecting classified information, and providing legal advice on intelligence operations, including domestic intelligence activities.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I.

LAW 2085 v00 International Agreements

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The course begins by examining what is an international agreement under international law and distinguishes such agreements from other arrangements between States or international organizations that constitute political rather than legal commitments. Since there is interplay between domestic and international law in the operation of international agreements, it is important to understand how both systems of law work. To provide a domestic law framework, the first half of the course focuses on the treaty law of the United States. It addresses such matters as applicable Constitutional provisions, factors bearing on the decision as to the form in which a particular international agreement will be concluded and the respective roles of the Executive, the Senate, the Congress, and the courts concerning the conclusion, termination, and interpretation of international agreements. Students from other countries are encouraged to explain how their domestic systems handle similar issues, thus permitting the addition of a comparative element to the domestic law discussion. The second half of the course is devoted primarily to the international law rules reflected in the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties to which more than one hundred countries are parties and which is in most respects regarded as representing customary international law. In addition to the Convention, the course materials for the second half include recent cases decided by the International Court of Justice or by treaty-based arbitral tribunals and examples of important developments concerning the law of international agreements that have taken place since the entry into force of the Vienna Convention in 1980.

LAW 790 v01 International Criminal Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Examines selected issues involving the application of criminal law to international activities and across national boundaries. The course covers both the procedural aspects of international cooperation in criminal matters (including extradition,  cross-border investigations, mutual legal assistance, and recognition of foreign penal judgments) as well as the developing substantive international law (e.g., war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, cybercrime, and trafficking in drugs, people and firearms). Particular attention is paid to the question of jurisdiction over criminal activities at the international level, in the context of activities such as money laundering, organized crime, and computer crime, including the reach of Constitutional protections to investigations and law enforcement activities overseas. Addresses the structure, jurisdiction, and jurisprudence of the ad hoc criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the statute and rules of evidence and procedure of the International Criminal Court.

Recommended: Criminal Law, Conflict of Laws: Choice of Law (or the equivalent Conflict of Laws: Choice of Law (International Focus)); International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the J.D. course with the same title; the J.D. first year elective, Criminal Law Across Borders; or the J.D. seminar International Criminal Law Seminar: Tribunals and Crimes; or the J.D. course International Humanitarian Law; or the J.D. course International Criminal Courts.

LAW 166 v00 International Efforts to Combat Corruption Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

International anti-corruption has become an increasingly “hot topic” among lawyers and policymakers: governments, international organizations, and technical experts all identify corruption as a serious impediment to comprehensive economic development. If left unchecked, corruption threatens to undermine the effectiveness of development initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Growing enforcement of legal instruments such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act have placed anti-corruption squarely on the agenda of a wide variety of transnational organizations. With so many variant actors invoking the importance of anti-corruption, lawyers must not only have a working knowledge of what corruption entails, but also understand how the development of an international anti-corruption legal framework is changing the way business is conducted in a global economy.

This course explores the international legal framework of anti-corruption, the scope of anti-corruption instruments, the methodologies employed by international actors enforcing these instruments, and the policy dilemmas implicated by these endeavors.

Given the dynamic nature of anti-corruption initiatives, the course presents an interdisciplinary, interactive approach to the subject matter. The class will introduce and discuss perspectives from academic texts, policy papers and media. It is hoped that this broad-based approach will provide students with a strong theoretical foundation in anti-corruption law, foster a practical understanding of international anti-corruption work, and inspire students to integrate this avenue of study into their future professional endeavors.

Students will complete a research paper 20-25 pages in length.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will have a working knowledge of the role anti-corruption policy and political institutions (i.e., FCPA, OECD, and UNCAC) play in the field of anti-corruption. Students will be able to engage in professional discussions on the historical context of international anti-corruption efforts, the state of the current political and international climate, and the future of anti-corruption by making connections between past policy and current events. Students will be able to articulate original views, back them up with research and defend them through strategic thinking by engaging with guest-lecturing practitioners and the final oral presentation. Students will further deepen their knowledge on a particular topic within the field by conducting a research paper in which they will need to provide insightful analysis making connections among historical and current policies, institutions, and governments.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in at least one course in private or public international law might be helpful but is not necessary.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this seminar and Global Anti-Corruption Seminar.

LAW 145 v00 International Environmental Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

The course focuses on international law applicable to the leading environmental and natural resource issues.  It provides a framework for identifying and addressing the legal issues, links international law with relevant national laws, and focuses on ways to strengthen compliance with international obligations.  The course covers climate change, ozone depletion, transboundary pollution and hazardous waste disposal; natural resource issues of fresh water (both surface and ground water), marine resources, and biodiversity; the links between human rights and environment and between environment and trade; and the financing of sustainable development.  Special attention is given to cutting edge issues, such as synthetic biology and climate intervention. 

Learning goals for this course: To enable students to become effective counsel, litigators, negotiators, arbitrators, judges, or legal advisors on a broad range of international environmental and natural resource problems; to understand international negotiations; and to be able to apply legal concepts developed in the course within different national settings for implementing international law. 

LAW 227 v04 International Human Rights

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course examines the law, institutions, and advocacy strategies designed to protect international human rights.  We will analyze civil and political rights and economic and social rights, as well as international humanitarian law, and explore key enforcement mechanisms at the national, regional, and international levels. The evolving role of NGOs and civil society actors in advancing human rights, and the responsibility of corporations, will also be examined. Both progress and enduring challenges in making human rights real “on the ground” will be a focus of this course, together with the need for effective enactment of legal standards, enforcement of those standards, and empowerment of affected communities. Current legal issues and strategies concerning climate change and human rights will also be highlighted.  

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the graduate course, International Human Rights Law.

LAW 814 v00 International Human Rights Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an intensive survey of international human rights law and practice, with a principal focus on interpretation and implementation of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms in the practice of states. The course has three main components: in the first unit, we examine the development of the substantive law of human rights and its sources (including treaties, customary international law, and non-binding international instruments). In the second unit, we examine implementation of international human rights in the international, regional, and domestic systems, focusing on UN organs such as the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies as well as regional systems such as the European and Inter-American Courts of Human Rights.  Finally, in the third unit we look at the application of the substantive law and implementation mechanisms in the context of current issues in international human rights, including in the context of atrocities, and the refugee crisis. The course highlights selected contemporary ethical problems in international human rights law such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and torture; application of human rights obligations, commitments, and norms to non-state actors (including corporations); positive duties on states to protect individuals from abuses by non-state actors; universality of human rights and cultural relativism; and the need to protect human rights while countering terorism, including issues relevant to U.S. law and practice. Along the way we examine issues related to international immunities, impunity, human rights litigation under the U.S. Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victim Protection Act, and international criminal tribunals. 

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law, or the J.D. course, International Human Rights.

LAW 814 v02 International Human Rights Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course provides an intensive survey of modern international human rights law. Tracing the historical evolution of human rights norms, we will first explore look at how and they became a dominant feature of the post-World War II, post-colonial, and post-Cold War international orders. We will cover the doctrinal and institutional mechanisms of the modern human rights system, including the core treaties and international and regional bodies, with a particular focus on how courts, both international and domestic, can give human rights the force of law--or deprive them of it. We will examine how international human rights law defines specific rights (e.g., the right to life, the prohibition of torture, freedom of expression), struggles to overcome structural and historical biases (e.g., discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, or race), and adapts to different contexts (e.g., climate change, armed conflict, social media and surveillance). Throughout the course, we will study why states and businesses respect human rights, why they don't, and how lawyers, NGOs, and other actors can work to ensure that most human rights norms are honored most of the time. Our readings will draw from case law, treaties, academic works, legal briefs, and other sources that offer a real-world sense of how 21st Century human rights law is articulated, litigated, and adjudicated.

Learning Objectives:

  • Strengthen legal research, writing, and editing.
  • Draft brief and bench memorandum.
  • Deliver oral argument.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or equivalent).

At a minimum, students who have not previously studied public international law should read at least one treatise on the subject before the first week of class, e.g., Public International Law in a Nutshell 6th Ed, by Thomas Buergenthal and Sean Murphy.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Human Rights Law and Practice.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 2014 v00 International Law and Covert Operations

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

With the end of World War II and the establishment of the UN, particularly Articles 2(4) and 51 of the UN Charter, the international community has endeavored with mixed success to regulate the use of force. International relations have traditionally been conducted with a Westphalian view of individual state sovereignty and territorial integrity. Respect for state sovereignty encourages stability. Today non-state actors operating across state boundaries present a new and complex set of problems. And states tend to act in what they perceive to be their own self-interest, which may or may not be in strict compliance with Art. (2)(4). In addition, technology has expanded the ways in which states can now use force to attempt to alter outcomes. Targeted killings (or non-judicial killings) using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are but a recent example of the application of limited force to obtain a desired outcome. Covert activities, while raising substantial policy issues, may avoid some of the legal and political difficulties associated with the use of overt military force and may become an increasingly attractive option in situations, including threats to human rights, where diplomatic or economic coercion are not sufficiently viable and action is deemed necessary by state decision makers. There is a tremendous amount of scholarship emerging that focuses on this and other aspects of covert activities. The United States conducts covert operations through both the CIA and Department of Defense. In this course we will first examine the U.S. law regulating such activities, including Title 10 and Title 50 and Congressional Oversight. But most of the course will be devoted to reviewing the relevant areas of international law (including the Law of Armed Conflict, International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law) that are most often invoked in analyzing the legality of the use of force. We will examine several types of specific operations, including renditions, reprisals and humanitarian rescue operations. The course will examine a variety of scholarly legal arguments in the context of specific covert operations that have been reasonably well documented. We will discuss the law enforcement model often proposed where targeted killing is involved and compare it with the more traditional approach found in the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law. This course will examine how neutral legal norms are applied in specific contexts and how political reality can shape outcomes and the application of such norms.

LAW 3052 v00 International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective

LL.M Seminar | 1 credit hour

This one-credit course is designed to provide incoming graduate program (LL.M.) students with (i) a review of the basic purposes, principles and instruments of international law and (ii) an introduction to the U.S. approach to the field. It is mainly intended for those who have previously taken a basic international law course (especially in a non-U.S. school) and who would benefit from a short "refresher" before undertaking more advanced or specialized courses at Georgetown. In addition to the essential elements of public international law, the course will touch on relevant aspects of private international law and the ways in which both public and private international law principles and obligations are given effect ("domesticated") in U.S. law. The format will be interactive discussion, permitting participants to focus on issues of greatest relevance and importance. The examination will be in a short-answer take-home format.

Prerequisite: Prior enrollment in a basic international law course.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the course International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail. J.D. students may not enroll in this course.
Please note that this course cannot be used to fulfill the LL.M. degree requirement of completing International Law I or a comparable course prior to or during the LL.M. program.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

While the first two days of this course meet during the Fall add/drop period, a student may only drop this course without a transcript notation prior to the start of the second class session by submitting a written request to the Office of the Registrar. After the start of the second class session, a student must seek permission from an advisor to withdraw.

LAW 235 v02 International Law I: Introduction to International Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This survey course introduces students to the nature, sources and institutions of international law and major developments in the contemporary international legal system. It considers such topics as treaties, executive agreements, customary international law and jus cogens; recognition of states and governments; the principle of self-determination; methods of international dispute resolution, especially before international courts including the ICJ and though international arbitration; domestic jurisdiction over disputes with international elements; international immunities; the role and operation of the United Nations and other international and regional entities, such as the EU and the OAS; International Human Rights Law; Law of the Sea; Law of Outer Space; Private International Law; how the international system protects (or fails to protect) the environment; International Criminal Law; the use of force in self-defense against other countries, rebellions, or terrorist groups, humanitarian intervention, etc.

Learning goals for this course:

Ability to analyze and interpret treaties, judgments and other international law instruments. Awareness of relationship between international and domestic law, how international law is made and applied, how domestic legal systems differ in their approach to international law.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective International Law I: Introduction to International Law, or the LL.M. course International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective.

LAW 235 v16 International Law I: Introduction to International Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course deals with the nature and sources of international law and major developments in the international legal system, including the interaction of international law and municipal (domestic) legal systems. It considers such topics as treaties, executive agreements, and customary international law; jurisdiction over disputes with international elements; foreign sovereign immunity; methods for international dispute resolution; the role of international law in the U.S. legal system; how the international system protects (or fails to protect) human rights and the environment; and the use of force against other countries, rebellions, or terrorist groups.

Learning Objectives:

This course will expose you to a different legal system – the regime of contemporary public international law governing the conduct of states and international organizations – as well as the way that legal regime is incorporated in the law of the United States. It also serves as a general precursor to other international law courses in the Georgetown Law curriculum.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective International Law I: Introduction to International Law, or the LL.M. course International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on July 14.

LAW 235 v17 International Law I: Introduction to International Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course is a broad introduction to public international law. Students will consider the nature of international law as law, sources of international law including customary international law, and the role of national and international tribunals in international dispute resolution. The course will also cover topics including the fundamentals of treaty law, statehood, recognition of states and governments, jurisdiction and immunity, state responsibility, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international environmental law, the law of the sea, and international commercial disputes. The course will touch on other relevant topics as time permits.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the first-year elective International Law I: Introduction to International Law, or the LL.M. course International Law Essentials: The U.S. Perspective.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on November 10.

LAW 761 v03 International Law, Human Rights & Fighting Impunity

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will explore the global fight against impunity -- specifically, as it pertains to curbing war crimes, human rights violations, grand corruption and looted antiquities -- through class discussions, lectures and guest speakers with personal experience in fighting the impunity that is so often associated with war crimes and economic crimes. It is based on the premise that those that are willing to slaughter thousands of innocents, are also willing to steal millions of dollars and loot our collective cultural heritage – and that the fight against impunity includes both war crimes and economic crimes (and often, the international trend to focus on the former, ignores the domestic interest in prosecuting the latter). Over the semester, students in a seminar-size class will be exposed to the basics of international criminal law, international human rights law and international economic crimes, as well how the fight against impunity impacts national security and foreign policy issues. The class will focus on issues related to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as well as the recent global efforts to fight grand corruption and recover looted assets and antiquities, including UN Convention Against Corruption and the new UN-World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative. Students will be allowed to write a paper of their choice regarding international law and the fight against impunity. Class grades will be a combination between class participation (40%) and a seminar paper (60%). Required readings (cases, statutes, articles, book excerpts, on-line treaties, etc.) will be illuminated by lecture and discussion from a professor with first-hand experience in the global fight against impunity through his personal experience with the Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein and Omar al-Bashir matters, as well his background with the UN war crimes tribunal, the White House, the Pentagon, and the World Bank’s StAR Initiative, and helping recover stolen assets on behalf of various governments. In order to take advantage of Georgetown’s unique position in the intersection of law, politics, and international affairs, the course will feature high-profile guest speakers who will highlight their own personal efforts to fight impunity and how such international efforts impact national security and foreign policy matters.

Prerequisite: International Law I or equivalent.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1626 v00 Internet Law

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Everything we do, we do at least some aspect of it online. From commerce to speech, internet companies intermediate our daily activities. In the process, internet companies are changing how we live. Is the internet a free speech zone protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, or does it heed hate speech or political speech regulations from abroad? Can copyright law survive the worldwide copying machine of the internet? Is privacy dead when corporations know where you are and what you are doing nearly 24/7? Focusing on U.S. case law and statutes, this course examines the evolving law regulating internet enterprises. 

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Digital Law & Policy (CCTP-658-01), which is offered by the Communications, Culture & Technology department on the Main Campus.

LAW 3130 v00 Investigating Transnational Criminal Organizations & National Security Threats in Cyberspace

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

As a rule, investigating and prosecuting cybercrime is fraught with challenges. Ephemeral electronic evidence, international evidence-gathering obstacles, and anonymizing technologies can frustrate conventional law enforcement investigative techniques. Recently, distinctions between traditional cybercrimes and crimes committed by foreign actors with national security objectives have eroded, creating new investigative challenges: cybercriminals and national security cyber actors now both steal information for personal financial gain; nation-states have enlisted criminal organizations to act as their proxies to conduct cyber attacks against United States companies; and the tradecraft used by some nation-state actors includes tools and tactics commonly used by cybercriminals, such as botnets and ransomware. The intersection between conventional cybercrimes and national security crimes with a cyber nexus raises novel legal and policy questions involving the extraterritoriality of criminal statutes, the application of international data privacy regulations, and the boundaries of international legal cooperation. Furthermore, the burgeoning role of private actors in data breach response and cyber threat intelligence gathering are altering how cyber offenses are investigated.

This course will take a practical look at how U.S. federal law enforcement pursues investigations and prosecutions of sophisticated cyber threat actors using investigative and prosecutorial criminal tools that at times are augmented by national security authorities. It will furnish a background in criminal statutes that are the bedrock of electronic evidence gathering (e.g., the Wiretap Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq.; the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.; and the Pen Register/Trap and Trace Act, 18 U.S.C. §  3121 et seq.); the substantive laws used to indict cyber actors (e.g., the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030); the constitutional questions raised by surveillance techniques used to gather domestic evidence against international actors; and national security issues that prosecutors confront when handling hybrid criminal cases (e.g., discovery issues associated with the use of national security authorities). Students in this class will learn how a federal case against transnational cybercriminals and national security cyber actors is built and the legal landmines that can surface while gathering evidence in "cyberspace."

No technical background is required to take this course, but you will be taught the basics of Internet technology to better understand how technology affects the application of certain criminal laws.

Strongly Recommended: Criminal Justice, Criminal Law, or Criminal Procedure; Courses in technology-related subjects

LAW 063 v00 Issues in Disarmament: Proliferation, Terrorism, and Great Power Rivalry Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar addresses modern military weapons – their development, acquisition, proliferation, use, control, and elimination – considering a set of problems that will raise the most difficult security concerns for the United States and the rest of the world in the post-cold-war era. In the seminar, we will explore a wide range of weapons technologies--including nuclear, chemical, biological, and conventional armaments--and the political and legal mechanisms that constrain them. The seminar will address historical allegations concerning the dissemination and use of these weapons; the rise and fall of various strategic doctrines; the bureaucratic processes of government decision making; and the evaluation of relevant ethical considerations surrounding possession and use. The bulk of the seminar will focus on contemporary legal and political issues such as ongoing treaty negotiations, export controls, verification of compliance, enforcement of treaty commitments, and the dismantling of redundant weaponry. The seminar is particularly recommended for those interested in exploring careers in public international law, but will also be relevant to others interested in the role of the lawyer in influencing United States public policy more generally. Each student will prepare a substantial original research paper and participate in small exercises designed to provide some simulated experience in characteristic legal tasks, such as drafting, analyzing, briefing, etc.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Proseminar in National Security Law.

LAW 1106 v02 Judicial Review of Military Justice Proceedings: Current Issues and Constitutional Perspectives

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This seminar will address the relationship between courts-martial and civilian judicial proceedings, focusing on the allocation of responsibilities in the military justice system to commanders, judges, and lawyers. Specific topics will include the contemporary debates regarding sexual misconduct and combat-related offenses. The assigned readings will utilize materials available on the internet, including judicial decisions, legislative and regulatory materials, and law review articles. The seminar paper will take the form of a draft judicial opinion based upon topics covered in the course. The seminar is designed for students interested in national security, judicial review, and the constitutional allocation of legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the key features of military legal practice, the distinctions between military and civilian jurisprudence, and the primary factors considered by Article III courts in reviewing cases arising in the military justice system.
  • Assess the impact of congressional legislation and oversight, as well as the role of the President in the military justice system.
  • Enhance research skills through analysis of briefs and source materials.
  • Enhance writing skills by preparing a judicial opinion.

Recommended: Constitutional Law I and either Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 9, 2023, through Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 1334 v00 Justice and Accountability for International Atrocity Crimes: Bridging Theory and Practice Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This seminar examines both progress and ongoing challenges in seeking meaningful justice and accountability for serious international crimes, including crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. We’ll begin with an overview of the challenges of effective atrocity prevention and an examination of fundamental developments over the last few decades establishing international and hybrid criminal tribunals and other mechanisms of transitional justice, including truth and reconciliation commissions. Building on this foundation, and drawing upon legal scholarship, social science research, and country case studies, we will then explore a range of responses to key justice challenges recurring in a number of countries emerging from conflict. These challenges include: (1) the often complicated relationship between peace processes and justice initiatives; (2) the question of whose justice goals are being pursued and how national, regional, and international stakeholders interact in such efforts; and (3) the complexities of building enduring justice on the ground through meaningful domestic rule of law reform, outreach, cultural engagement, and other means. Students will write a substantial seminar paper within the subject matter scope of the seminar.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 2071 v00 Law and Functioning of International Organizations

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Multilateral diplomacy and the international organizations that support much of it have come to play a pervasive role in international relations particularly since the end of World War II. These international organizations serve as instruments of consultation, co-operation and standard setting in almost every sphere of public policy and governmental activity. This may involve broad concerns such the maintenance or restoration of international peace and security, promotion of economic development and stability, advancement of human rights, protection of health, protection of the environment, and the facilitation of trade and investment. Or they may address more specific tasks such as settlement of disputes, codification and progressive development of international law, civil aviation and maritime safety and security, protection of intellectual property, understanding world weather, internet governance, management of the geo-stationary orbit, police cooperation, education and biotechnology. They vary greatly in nature, mission, powers, structure and size. There are inevitable conflicts and frictions in their functioning.

It will examine a number of aspects common to the universe of public, i.e., intergovernmental, international organizations: their legal nature; their need, as the collective instruments of their member states, to remain independent of the individual control of these states, including control through the exercise of some normal state jurisdiction; their immunities and counter-balancing obligations to co-operate; their special body of labor law, including the duties and ethics of the international civil service and the use of international administrative tribunals to adjudicate their employment disputes. The course will examine a sampling of international organizations: how they are governed and financed, how they go about fulfilling their functions, the powers and instruments they use to advance agreed policies, some examples of their output including the development of soft law and hard law instruments and the increasing involvement of civil society in monitoring and influencing their actions. It will also consider the crucial advisory and operational roles lawyers play in a typical international organization, whether as members of the secretariat or of member state delegations.

Students will have the option of preparing a paper that they may elect, after grading, to include in the calculation of their final course grade.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in Public International Law or International Law I.

LAW 977 v00 Law and Measures Against International Terrorism

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

In the decade since the 9/11 attacks, the United States and most other countries have significantly altered ways in which they respond to international terrorism. Many government measures against terrorism have stretched domestic and international law to their limits. Controversial changes to laws have altered the balance between governments' interest in ensuring public safety and individuals' fundamental rights. The class will discuss current events from around the world to explore domestic and international legal bases for counter-terrorism measures such as intelligence gathering, criminal law enforcement, efforts to prevent terrorism financing, and use of military force. Students completing the course will have an overview of laws that apply to governments' responses to terrorism. The course will be graded by exam.

Recommended: Prior enrollment in International Law and/or International Humanitarian Law

LAW 3031 v00 Law in the Gray Zone: The Legal Challenges of Hybrid Conflict

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

State and non-State actors are increasingly pursuing political and economic objectives through the use of aggressive, ambiguous, and integrated multiple elements of power. This strategy, which exceeds the threshold of normal national competition but falls below the level of armed conflict, has been referred to as hybrid, unconventional, asymmetric, and ambiguous warfare. This competition in the gray zone between peace and armed conflict presents significant legal challenges to States responding to these threats.


This course will examine the legal challenges presented by this conflict in the gray zone. We will examine issues in legal classification of threats and how State and non-State actors employ these strategies to exploit perceived gaps in international and domestic law. Additionally, we will discuss how these actors may also use the law when pursuing their objectives in the gray zone.


Some of the specific topics to be discussed include:


- What is hybrid warfare? Case study, actors, definitions.

- Issues in legal classification of threats, including use of force and armed attack (the Article 2(4)- Article 51 "gap"), determining whether an armed conflict exists and, if so whether it is an international or non-international armed conflict.

- State responses to activities in the gray zone.

- State responsibility for surrogates/proxies.

- Information warfare, psychological operations, and the role of cyber.

- Sovereignty and intervention.

- Economic measures.

- Support to domestic organizations such as civil society and political groups.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law, Law of War, Foreign Relations Law

Note: A student will be permitted to drop a course that meets for the first time after the add/drop period, without a transcript notation, if a student submits a written request to the Office of the Registrar prior to the start of the second class meeting. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 936 v02 Law of War

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Surveys the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and customary international law as applied by the United States in warfare. From where does LOAC arise? What is a war crime – and who decides? What is “unnecessary suffering,” and what drives that legal determination? When does LOAC apply and what role do other rules of law, such as domestic U.S. law and International Human Rights Law play in regulating the conduct of armed conflict? Does it cover non-state actors? What are U.S. LOAC obligations, and how are they enforced? How does one distinguish illegal combatants from prisoners of war? Where do military commissions come from, and who may be tried by them? Could the atomic bombing of Nagasaki have been a war crime? Can a superior’s order constitute a defense to war crime charges? What is the U.S. position in regard to laser weapons? Land mines? Non-lethal weapons? Torture? Rendition? Reprisals? The assassination of enemy commanders? What is an illegal order, and what should a soldier do if she receives one? How may battlefield war crimes be prosecuted? Our inquiry will focus on the law applicable to the conduct of U.S. military operations in past and current conflicts, whether or not they be declared, whether they be internal or international. Although primarily focused on the law of land warfare, the law of air and naval warfare, as well as space and information warfare, will be considered.

Learning objectives:

To gain a firm understanding of the law of armed conflict and to consider, through discussion of practical exercise from the textbook, how the law is applied in an operational context.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Law of War, the International Law of Armed Conflict Seminar or War Crimes and Prosecutions.

LAW 1616 v00 Legal and Policy Aspects of Countering Terrorist Recruiting and Online Propaganda in the Digital Age Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Rapidly evolving technological advances over the past decade have created powerful mechanisms to instantly and directly reach billions of information consumers around the world.  Although the latest information revolution has fostered tremendous progress by connecting people in every corner of the planet, it has also been accompanied by governmental and non-governmental efforts to spread propaganda, particularly through social media platforms.  This course will review the legal and policy aspects of addressing these challenges, focusing on the rise of terrorist recruiting and other organized online propaganda efforts. 

As governments intensify their extensive counterterrorism initiatives, terrorist recruiting continues to evolve and poses a more complex threat than perhaps at any time in history.  Terrorists no longer require in-person recruiting to spread their ideology and to inspire attacks in other countries. Domestic and international extremist groups have become more adept at using online platforms and other tools to “crowd source” their recruiting in a decentralized attempt to attract and inspire disaffected individuals by exploiting grievances and offering a sense of purpose, belonging, adventure, and obligation.  At the same time, governments and other organizations are themselves using social media platforms to reach audiences in their countries and around the world.  They have done so not only to increase public support for their political leaders, but also to attempt to impact public debates on major issues, influence policy formulation, and even to sow discord between groups domestically and abroad.  These propaganda efforts have raised questions about whether social media companies, governments, and international organizations should play a larger role in determining how such information is disseminated, and how they can implement solutions without undermining freedom of expression and other legal protections. 

​In addressing online propaganda, this course will focus on legal and policy challenges and strategies in three main areas: (1) assessing and countering methods to spread propaganda online, including terrorists’ efforts to recruit followers and to inspire attacks; (2) examining innovative NGO and private sector cooperation in developing counter-propaganda initiatives; and (3) utilizing existing law enforcement tools and crafting new governmental and non-governmental prevention and intervention programs to disengage, redirect, and rehabilitate those who are radicalized online. 

LAW 3059 v00 Legal Support to Senior National Security Decision Makers

LL.M Seminar | 1 credit hour

This short course addresses the practical problem of providing legal advice to senior government political appointees in general, and national security appointees in particular, in situations where statutory provisions are ambiguous and policy desires may be in conflict with legal constraints.  The course will focus on one or two actual or hypothetical situations based or closely based on events experienced by the professors.  The professors have decades of experience in both the defense policy and legal aspects of national security decision making.  Several situations will be covered as an introduction to  the topic followed by detailed investigation of  one or more cases in which students will be tasked to role play relevant policy and legal positions in the Department of Defense, take opposing positions and argue their assigned points of view.   The two professors for this course, Frank Kendall and Susan Raps, were until recently Under Secretary of  Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, and the lead counsel for Defense Acquisition in the Office of the  DOD General Counsel. 

LAW 324 v00 Maritime Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course surveys various principles and aspects of admiralty and maritime law of the United States, including: the historical and constitutional bases for its existence; the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the courts; the substantive law of maritime contracts and maritime torts; the application of criminal law at sea; the laws governing carriage of goods and passengers by sea; the public order of the oceans at the national and international levels; protection of the marine environment; and federal-state maritime issues. Consideration is given not only to the current state of the law in these areas, but also to related U.S. government policies and international and comparative law issues.

LAW 922 v01 National Security & the Law of the Sea

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course reviews the basic principles of international law related to the many exclusive and inclusive uses of ocean space, especially on those critical issues affecting U.S. national security. Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the legal regimes governing the ocean, from internal waters and other coastal zones through the regimes of the high seas, and an overall appreciation for U.S. ocean law and policy, based on relevant principles of international and national law. Topics include navigation and overflight rights, living and non-living ocean resources, military and law-enforcement activities, protecting the marine environment, marine scientific research, the law of naval warfare, and the formal and informal processes for developing ocean policy and for resolving international disputes. Students will research and engage in class discussions on a number of problems involving national security issues and the use of ocean space, including resources on the continental shelf, maritime terrorism, military exercises, maritime transportation systems, at-sea trafficking in illicit drugs, piracy, weapons of mass destruction, collection of intelligence, and naval rules of engagement.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or the equivalent International Law I).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Oceans Law and Policy.

LAW 1458 v01 National Security and Human Rights Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The struggle to respect and ensure human rights while also protecting national security raises important and complex legal and policy challenges. This course will examine current issues at the intersection of human rights and national security, with a focus on the use of force.

The first half of the course will cover the legal frameworks governing the use of force, including the UN Charter and jus ad bellum, the law of armed conflict (also known as the law of war or international humanitarian law), human rights law, and the U.S. Constitution. Students will examine how the rise of transnational terrorist organizations and advancements in armed drone technology have blurred the line between wartime and peacetime legal rules and placed tremendous pressure on these legal frameworks in the decades following the 9/11 attacks. By the end of this portion of the course, students will be able to analyze uses of military force in the daily news to determine whether the use of force is lawful under domestic and international law.

The second half of the course will cover key issues at the intersection of national security and human rights including: U.S. drone strikes, indefinite detention and the use of military commissions at Guantanamo, the CIA’s torture program after 9/11, the climate crisis, and more. Where feasible, we will cover current events and have practitioners from the field join us for a discussion of the topic. In past years, we have had speakers from the State Department, Defense Department, Congress, and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First.

Student learning objectives for the course are to use class sessions and the preparation of a paper:

  • To become familiar with basic human rights standards that govern the use of force in law enforcement settings, with particular emphasis on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • To become familiar with basic international law standards that govern the grounds for resort to force (jus ad bellum) and regulate the way force may be used in armed conflicts (jus in bello or law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law);
  • To gain an appreciation of the complex ways in which many current security threats and responses to them have features that do not fall squarely into the categories of either crime subject to law enforcement operations or armed conflict subject to conventional military operations; and
  • To become familiar with a range of complex issues at the intersection of national security and human rights and the diversity of professional opportunities in these areas.

Strongly Recommended: International Law; National Security Law; Law of War; Foreign Relations Law; Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs; International Human Rights Law; or the first-year elective International Law, National Security, and Human Rights.

LAW 3084 v00 National Security and International Aviation Law

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course reviews the basic principles of international law governing aviation, especially those involving critical issues affecting national security.  Students will develop an understanding of the legal regimes governing civil aviation and an overall appreciation for U.S. aviation law and policy regarding national security issues.  Topics include international organizations, such as the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, int’l disputes resolution mechanisms, int’l treaty obligations and government oversight responsibilities, air transport agreements, navigation and overflight rights, regulation of international airspace, airspace zones and military enforcement activities, the concept of civil and state aircraft, unmanned aircraft operations (drones), economic sanctions, and airport security and border control.  We will also discuss the intersection of international aviation law with related regimes governing oceans and space.

Students will research and engage in class discussions on a number of problems involving international aviation and national security issues.  We will make extensive use of case studies and problems to explore the complex legal and geopolitical questions that arise in these cases.  In addition, we will track events in the news to provide real-world examples of the significance of the concepts that we will be discussing throughout the course.  Case studies will involve issues like sovereign airspace management, establishment of no-fly zones, territorial disputes in the South China and East China Seas, the conflict in Ukraine, Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, U.S. Iran Sanctions, international terrorism, and forums for dispute resolution.  The course aims to provide students with a practical understanding of international aviation law through an in-depth examination of how it operates in relation to national security. 

Recommended: Public International Law, National Security Law, Administrative Law

LAW 849 v00 National Security Investigations and Litigation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This seminar will address the law governing national security investigations and related litigation. Topics will include electronic surveillance (e.g., the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), national security letters, mail covers, and the handling of classified information at trial (e.g., the Classified Information Procedures Act). National security law is often inaccessible, and can be particularly hard to follow when divorced from the context of historical tradition, governmental structures, and operational reality in which it functions. The seminar will aim to present the law in context, exposing students as much as possible to the real-world effects of legal standards and rules. Requirements include participation in a four-hour investigative exercise at the end of the semester, submission of two short papers during the course of the semester, and class participation.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. course, National Security Law: Investigations and Prosecutions or National Security Surveillance.

Note: Grading for this class will be based on three components, each equally weighted: class participation; two short papers; and performance during the final exercise.

Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 849 v01 National Security Investigations and Litigation

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This class will address the law governing national security investigations and related litigation. Topics will include foundational legal authorities, electronic surveillance, national security letters, and the differences between Article III courts and military commissions. National security law is often inaccessible, and can be particularly hard to follow when divorced from the context of historical tradition, governmental structures, and the operational reality in which it functions. While steering clear of classified or confidential aspects of the practice, the class will attempt to present the law in context. Class participation and three short papers are required.

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete Criminal Justice, Democracy and Coercion, or Criminal Procedure.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the J.D. course, National Security Law: Investigations and Prosecution or National Security Surveillance.

LAW 972 v00 National Security Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Following the 9/11 attacks, one of the fastest growing areas of legal inquiry has been national security law. This course, taught by the principal founder of the field, is a comprehensive introduction, blending relevant international and national law. It begins with an overview of modern theories about the causes of war including "democratic peace," "deterrence" and "incentive theory." The course then examines the historical development of the international law of conflict management. It takes up institutional modes of conflict management, including the United Nations system and the role of the Security Council. Addressing the lawfulness of using force in international relations, i.e. jus ad bellum, the course discusses aggression, low-intensity conflict, terrorism, intervention, anticipatory defense, and "preemption." It then examines several case studies including the Indochina War, the "secret war" in Central America, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Afghanistan (the War on Terror), and the Iraq War, as well as case studies in United Nations peacekeeping and peace enforcement (including operations in Somalia, Haiti, Rwanda and the former Yugoslav republics). The course examines the norms concerning the conduct of hostilities, i.e. jus in bello, providing an overview of the protection of non-combatants and procedures for implementation and enforcement. It looks at war crimes issues, such as the Nuremberg principles, the new International Criminal Court, and the Yugoslav and Rwanda tribunals. The course briefly discusses American Security Doctrine, then turns to the general issues of strategic stability and arms control, examining nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and their effects, and arms control agreements. The course then examines the institutional framework for the control of national security, including the Authority of Congress and the president to make national security decisions, the war powers, and constitutional issues in the debate on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The course further examines the national security process, including the national command structure, and considers the issues of secrecy, access to information, the classification system and homeland security. It reviews intelligence and counterintelligence law, and ends with a review of individual rights and accountability as they interface with national security. Individual Powerpoint modules are offered in the course segments concerning modern theory about the origins of war, jus ad bellum, terrorism, the Vietnam War, Arms Control intelligence law, individual rights vs. national security, the national security process and homeland security. The course typically invites one or more experts to meet with the class to discuss contemporary issues.

LAW 972 v03 National Security Law

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This introductory, survey course will explore national security law as developed from the U.S. Constitution, relevant federal statutes, case law, and historical experience, as well as from principles and influences of international law and foreign relations.  It will cover key components of, and debates over, the Federal Government’s exercise of national security authorities, including: decisions to use force and how to employ it; detention and interrogation of combatants; collection, protection, and sharing of intelligence; military and civilian prosecutions for national security-related criminal charges, including terrorism, espionage, export control, and state-sponsored cybercrimes; civil litigation involving national security interests and concerns; protection of homeland security; and economic aspects of national security policy. Themes of the course will include: (1) the separation of powers among the three branches of the Federal Government, and appropriate roles for these branches in the conduct of national security activities; (2) the interplay between international law and domestic law; (3) textual, historical, and functional modes of legal argument as applied to national security issues; and (4) the evolution of modern warfare and its implications for relevant legal regimes. 

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

This course will provide students with exposure to the broad reach of modern national security law in the United States, and the many as-yet unresolved and knotty legal, policy, practical, and moral issues that arise as the Government strives to protect national security, while preserving the generally free and open society that most U.S. persons expect.  Students will examine with a critical eye the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions, while considering practical alternatives and results.

The student learning outcomes will be the following:

  1. Analyze current and emerging issues in national security law, and understand the policy arguments underlying the balance of ensuring security and protecting individual rights
  2. Assess the justifications offered for, and scope of, security-based governmental actions
  3. Examine the effects that national security measures have on individual rights of U.S. citizens and non-citizens, and on U.S. institutions, norms, and governance.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and the graduate course by the same name. 

Note: LL.M. STUDENTS: THIS COURSE REQUIRES PROFESSOR PERMISSION TO ENROLL. Priority will be given to LL.M. students in the National Security program. Students must submit a resume/CV and a statement of interest in the course to Professor Huntley (Todd.Huntley@law.georgetown.edu) by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. After the June 8 application deadline, students will be admitted into open seats on a rolling basis.

LAW 967 v00 National Security Law & the Private Sector

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This seminar will examine how the U.S. government regulates and addresses national security in a global economy in which data and money flows freely and sensitive assets in the United States and abroad are owned or controlled by commercial actors. The concept of “national security” in U.S. legal doctrine and regimes is hardly new, but the impact of national security law on the private sector has expanded dynamically since September 11, 2001. The course will review the history and breadth of national security law and public policy as it relates to the private sector and the principles for the application of national security regulation to private actors.  While the seminar will address these considerations for a variety of practice areas, the primary focus of the seminar will be on how these principles apply in national security reviews of foreign investment conducted by the federal inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. The course will use functional examples (i.e., real world cases) to explore fundamental policy questions -- e.g., what is the proper balance between security and openness in a commercial world -- as well as to evaluate the legal and practical considerations of private actors (including fiduciary duties to shareholders and reputation risk, among others) and their counsel when confronted with national security issues.  

This seminar is designed for those who are interested in how concepts of national security in the law affect private actors -- primarily, but not exclusively, businesses -- on a daily basis. There will be elements of history, but the main focus will be experiential.  Accordingly, while the course will not be a heavy reading course, preparation will be important and students may be designated (with significant advance notice) to help lead a particular class discussion. Outside experts from the Executive Branch, Congress, and the private sector may be invited to participate in certain classes.

Course pre-requisites: None

Requirements -- Three requirements:

(a) The preparation of materials to help lead a particular class discussion.

(b) Participation in class discussion centered around real world fact patterns.

(c) A take-home final exam.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

The take-home exam in this course may be administered mid-semester and the specific exam date will be provided by the professor after the add/drop period.

LAW 819 v00 National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the relationship between national security and immigration. The course will first provide a historical backdrop of this issue and continue with threshold national security issues that have immigration implications. Particularly, the current legal framework that surrounds this issue will be explored to include specific provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as peripheral legal issues such as material support of a terrorist organization. Other national security questions will be discussed to include protecting the borders, criminal immigration prosecutions, and population control. Lastly, this course will explore the conflict between individual rights and national security and attempt to answer the threshold question of whether it is appropriate to use immigration laws as a national security enforcement tool.

This course is oriented toward the practitioner due to the focus this course places on the legal framework and litigation strategies necessary for removing or detaining individuals who are national security threats. At the same time, we will spend time learning how to defend against the government using the immigration statutes as a national security tool. To facilitate this, students will not learn through lectures and group discussions alone, but also through examining real legal documents that have been filed in the United States District Courts and the Courts of Appeals. Students will also have the opportunity to examine a real A-file in order to practice issue spotting.

In the 2-credit version of this class, students will be evaluated by examination.

Note: The J.D. section will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 819 v01 National Security Law Through an Immigration Framework

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This course will explore the relationship between national security and immigration. The course will first provide a historical backdrop of this issue and continue with threshold national security issues that have immigration implications. Particularly, the current legal framework that surrounds this issue will be explored to include specific provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as peripheral legal issues such as material support of a terrorist organization. Other national security questions will be discussed to include protecting the borders, criminal immigration prosecutions, and population control. Lastly, this course will explore the conflict between individual rights and national security and attempt to answer the threshold question of whether it is appropriate to use immigration laws as a national security enforcement tool.


This course is oriented toward the practitioner due to the focus this course places on the legal framework and litigation strategies necessary for removing or detaining individuals who are national security threats. At the same time, we will spend time learning how to defend against the government using the immigration statutes as a national security tool. To facilitate this, students will not learn through lectures and group discussions alone, but also through examining real legal documents that have been filed in the United States District Courts and the Courts of Appeals. Students will also have the opportunity to examine a real A-file in order to practice issue spotting.


In the 3-credit version of this class, students will be required to submit a paper proposal, rough draft, and highly researched analytical paper approximately 30-35 pages in length.


Note: The 3-credit section meets the J.D. writing requirement.

Note: The J.D. section will be enrolled via waitlist.

LAW 1151 v00 National Security Lawyering Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course will examine the substantive, ethical, moral, procedural, and practical challenges of practicing national security law in the government. Government national security and foreign affairs lawyers have significant influence on operational and policy decision-making, but generally encounter fewer external checks and less oversight than lawyers in other areas. Because of threshold doctrines such as standing and political question, courts address national security legal questions relatively rarely. There are few timely, formal checks in the area of international law, which develops over time and by consensus and often lacks a direct enforcement mechanism. In addition, much of the subject matter about which national security lawyers provide advice is classified, which can limit the scrutiny of legal analysis by Congress, the press, and the public. Therefore, national security lawyers, who provide advice on what are often extremely high stakes and difficult legal issues, shoulder a great deal of responsibility to carry out their roles ethically and effectively.

The course will use case studies and hypotheticals to explore these important challenges. Students will discuss a variety of issues, including: the players and process of national security legal decision-making; flexibility, constraint, and accountability for the national security lawyer; the challenges in providing balanced advice; whether and when it is appropriate to “push the envelope” on legal advice; the impact of secrecy on legal advice and decision-making; the importance of transparency about national security legal advice and why it is so difficult; prosecution, litigation, and national security; the appropriate role of lawyers and the law in the national security policymaking process; lawyering when the law is not developed; and the challenges and responsibilities of lawyering during war and other national security crises.

Students will be graded on several short reaction papers and one longer final paper. Class discussion will also be considered in grading.

Recommended: International law and/or national security related course.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1402 v00 National Security Regulation

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

National Security Regulation examines a cross disciplinary area of law mingling international law, constitutional law, statutory interpretation, and administrative law. Areas regulated by the Federal government because of national security concerns are frequently high stakes and high dollar. The government cares a lot about getting the “right” result, and the penalties can be enormous. Unfortunately, knowing what is “right” can be hard. The rules are arcane, formal guidance may not be public or even exist, and case law may be thin or nonexistent. The adjudication process likely involves classified information (which you may not be able to access), and you may have limited due process or appeal options. If you have a career ahead of you in corporate law, you will almost certainly run into national security regulations at some point during your career. This course is designed to help. It surveys some of the most common areas of regulatory interest, as well as some hot issues that will dictate the path of emerging technologies. Areas of law that will be examined include National Emergencies Act, International Emergency Economic Powers Act, cybersecurity, export controls, economic sanctions, and foreign investment.

Recommended: Administrative Law and National Security Law.

LAW 755 v00 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Law & Policy

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course will provide students with an understanding of the current matrix of nuclear non-proliferation treaties, multilateral arrangements, laws, regulations, initiatives, proposals, and organizations that aim to halt the spread of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear terrorism. The goal is to examine the full array of tools employed by the United States to address nuclear proliferation, as well as how the Executive Branch brings these tools to bear through the inter-agency process and its joint efforts with Congress and international partners.  Virtually every element of the nonproliferation toolbox was deployed to address the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea, so considerable time will be spent examining these critical cases.  We will also examine how the nuclear programs of India and Iraq shook and ultimately altered the nonproliferation regime.  Throughout the course, we will consider nonproliferation efforts in the context of great power strategies, alliance obligations, and regional rivalries, on how these factors influence the decision-making of proliferating countries and countries seeking to prevent proliferation.  A continuing theme in the course will be the evolution of nonproliferation tools over time and the role of and lawyers in that evolution.

LAW 3020 v00 Pan-Epidemics and PHEICS: COVID-19, EBOLA, and What’s Next?

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

This course will focus on the legal, public health and medical challenges presented by ongoing pandemics and epidemics, most notably COVID-19, as well as preparedness for future pandemics through the lens of the “One Health” paradigm—an integrated 3-part framework that takes into account the health of humans, animals, and the environment.

The course will address the legal response to epidemic disease, focusing particularly on the World Health Organization's International Health Regulations (IHR), including the process for deciding whether to declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) (including historical examples of COVID-19, Ebola, Zika, MERS, Yellow Fever, polio, pandemic influenza, and more). It will also look at other legal mechanisms for pandemic preparedness, such as the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework and examine reforms to global governance for health emergency preparedness that have been proposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Lucey will provide his personal perspective based on on-the-ground work in responding to Ebola, COVID-19, Zika, MERS, SARS Flu, Plague, and more. This work overseas led to his proposal in 2014 to create an Exhibition on Global Epidemics at the Smithsonian Museum of National History, which opened in 2018 and has been extended to 2022 to add COVID-19. The class will include a tour of this exhibit.

The course will be discussion-focused, including readings, videos, interactive lectures, and classroom outbreak simulation ("tabletop") exercises. During these exercises students will be given a fact pattern and assigned a role (e.g., the WHO Director-General, US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, NGOs, etc.) and asked to negotiate with others and reach agreement.

Note: ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students. Grading is based on participation in the final simulation exercise (no papers or exams).

LAW 1360 v00 Policing in the 21st Century: Law Enforcement, Technology and Surveillance

J.D. Seminar | 2 credit hours

This seminar will explore the intersection of contemporary surveillance practices with the need to safeguard civil liberties, and investigate how new technologies are being used to manage and control populations of people, in particular racial and religious minorities and immigrant communities. The course will place special emphasis on the evolving right to privacy in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world, the expansion of government surveillance during the Obama and Trump administrations, and the implications of new law enforcement technologies on civil liberty protections. Our texts will include a variety of sources ranging from case law, legal scholarship, government manuals and congressional testimony to congressional letters, TED Talks, and digital publications.

We will investigate a variety of electronic and non-electronic forms of surveillance, including social media monitoring, stop and frisk, license plate readers, drones, suspicious activity reporting, predictive policing, countering violent extremism programs, and NSA data collection. Throughout the course, we will specifically discuss how these technologies can be used to stifle dissent and protest.

We will discuss how judges and legislators have responded to these surveillance technologies, and pay special attention to the legal tools, doctrines, and defenses available to the government in surveillance-related matters. We will simultaneously investigate the different avenues through which today’s surveillance practices can be challenged, including lobbying, litigation, and private industry innovation. Specific reforms that will be discussed include encryption, informed consent, body cameras, diversity, community policing, and abolition.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Justice (or Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure.

LAW 1315 v00 Privacy Legislation: Law and Technology (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

Cross-Listed: JD and MLT Programs

In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professor. This project-based practicum course will focus on privacy policy. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 15 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professor.

SEMINAR: The aim of this practicum is to have law students and Master of Law and Technology (MLT) students jointly explore in-depth current issues in privacy policy and to propose policy solutions in the form of legislation that could be adopted by state governments. Our goal is to foster an environment that permits law students interested in a career at the intersection of law and technology to work with technology students on current issues of real gravity to (a) become literate in the technology that drives privacy issues; (b) learn to work with experts from different disciplines; and to (c) learn to work collaboratively with technologists on issues with important technological dimensions.

PROJECT WORK: The practicum will pair law students and MLT students in interdisciplinary teams, each likely consisting of two law students and one MLT student.

Each team will be assigned a specific question of public policy, and over the course of the semester the team will be responsible for preparing a detailed legal assessment of the policy question, the technological frameworks and challenges associated with the policy question, and formulating policy and technological recommendations to address the question in the form of draft state legislation. Among the kinds of questions that students may be asked to address are the following: (a) new, invasive forms of workplace and employee tracking; (b) commercial and police use of face recognition technology; and (c) state efforts to severely restrict flows of local and state government data to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Prerequisite: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).

Strongly Recommended: Information Privacy Law with either Professor Julie Cohen, Professor Paul Ohm or Professor Marc Rotenberg.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

Note: This practicum may be suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and participating in 15 hours/week of project work.

This is a five-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and three credits will be awarded for approximately 15 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 2006 v00 Proseminar in National Security Law

LL.M Seminar | 3 credit hours

The Proseminar in National Security Law serves as the gateway course for National Security Law LL.M. Students, and it is one of the distinguishing features of the program. The Proseminar is composed solely of National Security Law LL.M. students. Taught in the fall semester, the course provides students with a foundation in cutting-edge national security law topics and an opportunity to think more broadly about the field. The Proseminar helps ensure that students who leave Georgetown Law to join different parts of the national security law dialogue—e.g., civilian and military government agencies, human rights organizations, boutique law firms, in-house at technology companies, contractors, civil liberties organizations, and academic institutions—have an opportunity to be in direct dialogue with each other.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Issues in Disarmament: Proliferation, Terrorism, and Great Power Rivalry Seminar.

Note: This course is only open to LL.M students who are admitted into the LL.M in National Security Law Program.

LAW 440 v04 Refugee Law and Policy

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course examines domestic refugee law and policy, with particular focus on asylum and other refugee-related claims for protection that arise in the U.S. legal system. Students will become familiar with the key actors in the asylum and refugee law arena, including the U.S. Congress, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the federal courts, and international entities.

The course objectives are: (1) to equip students with an understanding of the principles of refugee policy, asylum law, and the United States' procedures for refugee protection, and (2) to provide students with a practical appreciation for how refugee policy is formed and a working knowledge of asylum law, which will serve as a foundation for academic research, clinical study, employment, pro bono work, and/or internship opportunities within the U.S. government and the NGO community.

In addition to focusing on the refugee definition as interpreted by U.S. courts, we will examine the processes for adjudicating asylum claims -- where the system works and where it fails. We will also seek to understand the limits of asylum law and explore the toughest issues facing asylum adjudicators and policy makers today.

LAW 260 v04 Research Skills in International and Comparative Law

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Whether they are representing couples in transnational adoptions or multinational enterprises in cross-border mergers, legal practitioners increasingly are expected to consult international and foreign legal materials. This course will familiarize students with the best tools for researching international law and the domestic law of jurisdictions outside the U.S., enabling them to approach these tasks with confidence, rather than trepidation. Students will learn how to efficiently locate multilateral and bilateral treaties, decisions issued by international tribunals, documentation produced by the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as legislation and case law from selected foreign jurisdictions, including the European Union. Tools for topical research in specialized fields, such as human rights, international trade, and investor-state arbitration, also will be covered. Students will refine their information-gathering skills through a series of in-class research exercises and take-home quizzes based on real world, practice-oriented scenarios. This course will be especially beneficial for journal editors, students participating in the Jessup International Moot Court competition and other international competitions, and for students interested in pursuing careers in international law or in practicing law outside their home jurisdiction.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in International Law I: Introduction to International Law.

LAW 403 v04 Rule of Law and the Administration of Justice

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course offers students an opportunity to learn about the expanding field of practice focused on strengthening the Rule of Law. It begins with a review of various definitions of the term, recognizing that many approach the same end through various means. It employs a case study methodology, including specific sessions with U.S. and foreign judges and other legal practitioners active in reform efforts. Topics include: Democracy and the rule of law; access to justice; criminal procedural reform; court administration and case management; commercial court reform; alternative dispute resolution (ADR); judicial independence and accountability; national security and transitional justice; indicators to measure the rule of law; and the role played by legal actors in addressing corruption, both within and outside the legal system. We will consider the rationale behind rule of law reforms by examining experiences, including in the U.S., which seek more competitive market economies, stronger law enforcement, gender equality, or social justice in response to an increase in demand populations, not only formal "users" of justice services. The course will also address the often overlapping or inconsistent agendas of bilateral donors, international organizations (e.g., U.N., World Bank, IMF, USAID, U.S. Military, among others) in the discussion and analysis.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of the course. Students will have acquired an understanding of the various definitions of ‘rule of law’ and the factors leading to and preventing successful reform efforts.
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired some understanding of the differences and similarities among international financial institutions (IFIs) and their approaches to Rule of Law to be able distinguish varying objectives (e.g. democracy promotion, economic development, human rights and social justice, anti-corruption and law enforcement).
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired a vocabulary and understanding of overlapping (and even inconsistent agendas) to be able to identify the “drivers” of reform and provide inputs for the design or evaluation of Rule of Law reform efforts.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law is suggested but not required. Familiarity with international organizations would be useful but not required.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 397 v02 Separation of Powers

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course will address the allocation of authority among the branches of the federal government. The course title is a bit of a misnomer, because those powers are not simply “separated” between the three departments. As Justice Jackson wrote, although "the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty . . . it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. It enjoins upon its branches separateness but interdependence, autonomy but reciprocity." Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring)). A principal focus of the course will be to test Justice Jackson’s description. Although we will examine some issues related to the federal judiciary and Article III, our primary focus will be on Articles I and II--in particular, on the President’s independent powers and Congress’s authority to regulate the Executive. This course will deal in greater depth with some of the separation-of-powers issues you studied in Constitutional Law I, but we will also closely examine current controversies, including the allocation of congressional and executive war powers, foreign affairs disputes, congressional oversight, presidential control over the execution of federal law, and constitutional interpretation within the political branches. The principal text will be the second edition of Shane & Bruff, Separation of Powers Law (2005), with some supplemental materials.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Separation of Powers Seminar with Professors Clement and Blatt.  Students MAY receive credit for this course and Separation of Powers Seminar: Hot Topics in Scholarship with Professor Chafetz.

LAW 397 v00 Separation of Powers Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This seminar addresses advanced issues raised by the interaction of the three branches of the federal government. In particular, the seminar will build on the separation of powers issues covered in the Constitutional Law I course by addressing some of those issues in greater depth and dealing with other separation of powers issues that tend to receive less attention because they do not result in justiciable controversies. Specific areas of study will include the political question doctrine, the invocation of executive privilege in Congress and the courts, executive immunity from the criminal and civil process, congressional subpoena power over executive branch documents, the effect of impeachment on the separation of powers, the issues raised by the executive branch's refusal to defend the constitutionality of acts of Congress, and judicial review of executive branch efforts to address foreign terrorism.

Students will be expected to prepare an outline, draft, and final version of a 25-page paper on a topic covered in the seminar and chosen in consultation with the instructor. Participation in class discussions will factor into final grades. Photocopied sets of reading materials for the seminar will include cases, statutes, legislative hearings, interbranch correspondence and other materials.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Executive Branch Legal Interpretation: The Separation of Powers and the Office of Legal Counsel

LAW 1746 v00 Social Media Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

Overview:

Never before have so many individuals had such a tremendous opportunity to access information, to engage with others, and to express their views on a global scale. Simultaneously, 24/7 online access means that actors can more easily manipulate networks, foment hatred, reach audiences poised to engage in violence, and spread false information. Platforms seemingly protected by the First Amendment, moreover, can be used to undermine and destabilize democratic systems and to radicalize and recruit adherents to violent causes. The risks to national security could be profound.

Does the government have the right to remove content from these sites? Can it require the same of private actors? What should the role of the platforms themselves be in light of the enormous political, social, and economic implications of restricting—or failing to restrict—online speech and association? What options are there for dealing with false, misleading, or manipulative information? What are the risks posed by the different courses of action? How should we think about traditional areas of the law, such as antitrust, when agreement among social media providers results in effective de-platforming of certain individuals and views? What are the privacy implications of micro-targeting and social media evolution in the advertising and marketing arena? And what happens when effective targeting is moved to a political realm?

The issue is far from static: technology is catapulting social media forward at warp speed. 5G and 6G networks will make it possible to deploy online experiences previously cabined to science fiction. A number of apps such as Snapchat, have integrated real time digital overlay features, as augmented reality (AR) blends the digital and 3-Dimensional world. Apple has deployed Quick Look AR that allows customers to “see” products in AR, interact with others, and buy the products directly. Users already can build virtual worlds, in games such as Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnight, and Second Life. Niantic is now taking it to the next level, developing what it calls full-world AR, leveraging Pokemon GO to crowdsource data to generate 3D space. Google glasses and Facebook Smart Glasses transform AR to a feature of daily 3D interaction. These devices allow companies to collect engagement metrics and to use them to further target users.

The move to virtual reality will be even more profound. Patents have been filed for collecting biopotential signals, tracking muscle and eye movements to re-create individuals’ expressions and actions in an online environment. Others allow users to feel digital images in a 3D world, integrating the experience. The recording of what is done in the VR allows users to share the experience with others, even as hardware attached to other users will be able to mimic the experiences of the original user. How should we think about brain computing and online actions in light of criminal law?

In short, how should we think about social media in light of the current constitutional, statutory, and regulatory environment?

This course begins with a deep dive into technology and the business of social media before turning to First Amendment doctrine and contemporary social media cases. It then looks at issues related to misinformation and disinformation and electoral manipulation, with a particular emphasis on Russian and Chinese practices in regard to social media.

The course mixes traditional lecture background with Socratic exchange and intense debates. Students taking it for 2 credits (either p/f or for credit) will draft 8 1-page, weekly response essays for the readings. Students taking it for 3 credits will have the opportunity to develop a longer paper with the aim of developing a law review article that could be submitted for publication. Those students will also have the chance to present their work to the class for feedback.

Learning outcomes:

As a result of taking the course, students will be able to:

  • articulate the opportunities and risks presented by social media;
  • ascertain ways in which online platforms challenge our traditional understanding of the First Amendment;
  • analyze how criminal law provisions apply to the online environment;
  • identify the privacy concerns at stake in new and emerging technologies and discuss how they fit within prominent paradigms, such as the DGPR and CalECPA;
  • discuss the application of antitrust measures to deplatforming and verification regimes;
  • advance a legal position, identify the strongest counter-arguments, and respond; and
  • advocate ways in which the doctrine should evolve to take account of the rapidly-changing world in which we live.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 406 v00 Space Law Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar addresses the international and domestic laws governing outer space. Class discussion will include issues such as: liability for damage caused by space objects, use of outer space resources, rescue of astronauts and return of objects launched into outer space, environmental issues in outer space, and other more specific topics such as NASA and the International Space Station, commercial space operations, U.S. Government agencies involved in outer space, and the role of the United Nations in outer space.

Strongly Recommended: International Law I.

Note: Students may not withdraw from this class after the add/drop period ends without the permission of the professor.

LAW 1715 v00 Special Operations: Law, Policy, and Ethics Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

The United States has come to rely increasingly on Special Operations Forces (SOF) to pursue national security interests around the world as a “small footprint” alternative to more controversial large-scale military operations.  Many SOF activities are unknown to the larger public, and some are not subject to the notification and oversight provisions of the US covert statute.  This course will explore how US reliance on these operations raises complex and challenging issues of law, national security and foreign policy, and ethics. 

With regard to law, some issues include: What legal provisions should apply to the decisions to deploy SOF and their use of lethal force if they cannot be deemed to be participating in an armed conflict? To what extent may the international law of state responsibility hold the US responsible for human rights violations committed against their own people by recipients of assistance from SOF?  For war crimes committed by recipients in the course of armed conflict with other countries? To what extent does international law prohibiting interference in the sovereign functions of another state apply to SOF cyber and information operations?  When may SOF activities be governed by the US covert action statute, and when are they traditional military activities that are exempt from the statute? 

With respect to policy, does greater reliance on SOF operations risk preventing the US population from appreciating the scope of US activities abroad and the risks that they can pose? Should a liberal democracy minimize reliance on SOF as a major instrument of national security abroad because of these concerns? Or is such reliance preferable to alternatives that might include large-scale military operations? Have two decades of concentrated focus on kill or capture missions left SOF ill-equipped to effectively carry out non-kinetic gray zone activities in Great Power Competition? What should their role be in relationship to other agencies that may be involved in such activities? Should the US seek to define more specifically what distinguishes SOF from other national security assets and limit their use to situations that require these capabilities?   

Finally, ethical issues include: Has emphasis on the use of SOF for kinetic counterterrorism operations over the last two decades has contributed to a culture that valorizes attributes and psychological orientations that serve these purposes over all others?  How should we assess allegations of serious misconduct in the recent case of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher in the US and the Brereton report on Australian SOF?  Do the dynamics of SOF, as well as small unit cultures in general, create a risk of ethical violations? If so, how might such cultures be changed and what obstacles to doing so may exist?

The learning objectives for the course are for students to:

(1) Become familiar with how US Special Operations Forces are organized and the kinds of missions that they conduct.

(2) Gain an understanding of the domestic and international law governing SOF and their activities.

(3)  Appreciate the practical and ethical issues raised by using SOF that may operate in clandestine and covert fashion to further US interests in a large number of countries across the world.

(4) Gain an understanding of the distinctive ethical issues that can arise on different types of SOF missions, and the role of organizational and small-unit culture in shaping whether personnel recognize those issues and resolve them appropriately.

(5) Appreciate how trends in geopolitics, technology, and military doctrine are likely to affect missions that SOF are asked to conduct  the future in and how they conduct them.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 415 v00 Strategic Intelligence and Public Policy Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 3 credit hours

This seminar will explore several significant legal and policy concerns presented by the conduct of foreign intelligence activities in peace and war. To the extent possible we will focus on current issues. We will discuss the role and history of Congress in authorizing, overseeing and regulating intelligence activities. We will also briefly review the constitutional authorities (primarily Art. II) of the President to undertake activities protecting the national defense in the absence of specific statutory authority, as well as the role of the federal courts in resolving national defense disputes.

More specifically we will discuss legal and structural issues associated with covert action, espionage, electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) and its impacts on privacy interests. We will consider the crimes of insurrection, conspiracy, and litigation issues involving the use of classified information in criminal and civil cases, including the use of secret evidence in criminal prosecutions. This discussion will include the state secrets privilege and the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA). We will examine unauthorized disclosures of classified information and whistleblower protections. And finally, we will briefly discuss the role of a free press in our democracy.

The overall approach of the seminar will be to have an open analysis and interesting discussion of these and possibly other related topics. Questions are welcome and can be addressed to Prof. Zirkle at zirklej@georgetown.edu.

Note: The Summer 2022 sections of this course will enroll via waitlist. The Writing Requirement section (LAWJ-415-06) is open to J.D. students only and non-degree students may not enroll.

LAW 1656 v00 Technology and Election Integrity Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

This course will examine the security requirements for voting systems (particularly those used for civil elections in the United States), how various technology designs and implementations meet or fail to meet these requirements, and how such systems can be improved. The course will focus on the implications of various vote-casting technologies ("voting machines") as well as the "backend" election management systems and processes that define ballots, register voters, provision precinct equipment, and count and report vote tallies. While it will not be our main focus, we will also examine the interaction between modern social media and foreign and domestic influence operations aimed at affecting election outcomes.

We will devote particular attention to understanding how the legal framework and historical threat models for elections relate to specific technical requirements, how technical failures can affect election outcomes, and the limitations of various remedies when such failures occur. We will look at a range of formal and informal proposed designs for election systems, specific systems that have been or are currently in active use, and various studies that have been made of these systems and designs. The course will focus on technical security issues, but will also touch on usability, threat modeling, and legal and governance issues. 

Our primary reference will be the 2018 National Academies study "Securing the Vote" as well as readings drawn from the technical, legal, and policy literature. 

Student papers will focus on some issue at the intersection of technology and voting, depending on the specific background and interests of the student. 

Recommended: A basic background in computer science and software will be helpful but is not essential.

Note: This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3 credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2 credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 1698 v00 Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Data, Algorithms, and Platforms

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2-3 credit hours

At this colloquium, outside speakers (typically faculty members or researchers from other institutions) will present their current works-in-progress. The focus of this year’s colloquium will be the legal and policy issues surrounding the shift to a networked environment organized around data, algorithms, and platforms. The research presented will explore a variety of current topics, such as: information privacy and data protection; competition in the platform economy; algorithmic fairness and transparency; the viral spread of fake news, hate speech, and revenge porn; online content moderation; the Internet of Things; sensor networks; automation and AI; and administrative frameworks for information economy governance. Students are responsible for reading the speakers’ papers, preparing short (2-3 page) weekly response memoranda that will be provided to the speakers in advance of the colloquium session, and attending each session prepared to ask at least one question. Students taking the seminar for WR credit additionally will write a 6000-word research paper.

Learning goals for this course: Close reading and critical interrogation of scholarly analysis and policy proposals regarding cutting-edge legal topics; refinement of analytical and writing skills.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for this course and Technology Law and Policy Colloquium: Information Platforms.

Note: NOTE FOR LAWG SECTION: This section is restricted to students enrolled in the Technology Law and Policy LL.M., Master of Law and Technology, and National Security LL.M. programs.  

FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY.  Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist.

This seminar requires a paper. J.D. students must register for the 3-credit section of the seminar if they wish to write a paper fulfilling the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement. The paper requirements of the 2-credit section will not fulfill the J.D. Upperclass Legal Writing Requirement.

LAW 3134 v00 The Intersection of Employment and National Security Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 1 credit hour

Federal employees and contractors safeguard our nation’s most sensitive information and secrets. However, many do not consider that national security is a major consideration when employing civil servants or making decisions regarding their continued employment.  As of 2017, over 4.3 million Americans possess a security clearance and even more have access to sensitive, unclassified information. Security clearances and suitability reviews assess the reliability, trustworthiness, and character of prospective employees. 

Because security clearance and suitability adjudications often determine whether a person is hired - and in some cases, fired - they invoke the application of employment protections under laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008. The decision to deny employment based on a security clearance or suitability decision is considered an adverse action. While some actions are subject to judicial and/or administrative court review, others are not.  Therefore, executive orders, federal regulations, and agency guidance are necessary to ensure that vetting is both thorough and fair. In the last decade, courts and agencies have grappled with issues ranging from discrimination to the stigmatization of mental health issues in security clearance and suitability adjudications.

This course will examine the intersectionality of national security issues and employment; specifically, how national security concerns shape vetting in federal employment from security clearances to suitability reviews. Moreover, it will serve as an introduction to understanding the interplay of federal case law, executive orders, federal regulations, and agency guidance in this area.

LAW 3085 v00 The Nuremberg Trials, the Doctors Trials

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The Doctors Trial considered the fate of twenty-three German physicians who either participated in the Nazi program to euthanize persons deemed "unworthy of life" (the mentally ill, mentally retarded, or physically disabled) or who conducted experiments on concentration camp prisoners without consent. The Doctors Trial lasted 140 days. Eighty-five witnesses testified and almost 1,500 documents were introduced. Sixteen of the doctors charged were found guilty. Seven were executed.

The Doctors Trial provides a significant and important example of human rights violations and serves as a lesson in law and bioethics vital to understanding how law evolved from an initial eugenics policy to and including the horrible examples that framed human atrocities during WW II. 

This course will highlight examples from Jeanne Guillemin's "Hidden Atrocites, Japanese Germ Warfare and American Obstruction of Justice at the Tokyo Trial", Joel Dimsdale's  "Anatomy of Malice" examining the psychological assessments necessary for the trials, and Vivien Spitz's "Doctors from Hell", delving deep into the actual court transcripts from the proceedings. Ben Ferenz's work, one of the actual prosecutors at the trials, will also be included as insight into this tragic period. 

Note: In the Spring 2022 semester, this course will take place online via Zoom.

LAW 780 v01 U.S. and International Customs Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

As international trade and commerce have increased over the years, customs law has become increasingly more internationalized, important and complex. This course will examine and provide a basic introduction to the rules and principles relating to both U.S. and international customs law. This will include an examination of those rules and principles relating to tariff classification, customs valuation, rules of origin, border enforcement of intellectual property rights and regional trading arrangements. International efforts to facilitate trade and to harmonize and simplify customs laws and procedures will also be examined together with international organizations dealing with customs laws and procedures (such as the World Trade Organization and the World Customs Organization).

Customs authorities are the guardians of national borders. The role of customs authorities in combating terrorism and criminal activity and in securing and safeguarding national borders will also be examined.

No prerequisites.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and Customs Law.

LAW 962 v03 U.S. Export Controls and Economic Sanctions

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Understanding and dealing with U.S. export control and sanction laws have become increasingly important skills for lawyers advising clients who compete in the global economy, including manufacturers, service enterprises, financial institutions, and companies licensing their technology abroad. This course surveys the federal laws and implementing regulations governing the export and re-export of goods, services, technology and software from the United States or by persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction, the extraterritorial reach of re-export controls, prosecution strategies, restrictions on dealings with or in sanctioned countries, prohibitions against dealing with blacklisted parties, and other sanctions that apply to non-U.S. companies and individuals. We also will examine the policies underlying these rules, which are designed to address ever-changing and developing threats to the United States, including Russian aggression in the Ukraine, the nuclear threat posed by Iran, civil war in Syria, missile development in North Korea, and conventional military tensions between the United States and China.

The course is designed to impart the practical skill sets you will need to use and understand the various complex regulatory systems that implement national security rules related to technology and high-tech transfers, including restrictions on release of technology to non-U.S. persons, foreign policy restrictions and licensing requirements. The regulations are implemented under various statutes, such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Trading with the Enemy Act, Arms Export Control Act, and Atomic Energy Act, and regulations issued by various federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Treasury, State, and Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We will address each regulatory regime as well as the limited body of relevant case law.

In addition, the course will address multilateral export control regimes, the role they play in shaping U.S. trade laws, the impact of new regimes (such as those under the Chemical Weapons Convention) and the direction of U.S. export controls and sanctions policy in response to the changing threats. We will focus on the U.S. Government’s use of embargoes and other economic sanctions to achieve national security and foreign policy goals of target countries. This course also will provide the skill sets necessary to communicate effectively with licensing agencies and the Defense Department regarding key issues of agency jurisdiction and classification and how these issues affect direct investment in the United States as regulated by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The course also will focus on the enforcement environment, including the trend of ever-increasing fines, the use of extradition, and imprisonment. We will discuss defense strategies and the potential for global settlements with the Departments of Justice, State, Treasury, and Commerce.

Finally, the course will emphasize developing the working knowledge necessary for hands-on practice and problem-solving in this field. In addition, the course will provide skills sets to assess proposed legislation and regulations in depth, as well as advocacy skills related to legislation and rulemaking.

Recommended: Administrative Law; International Law I.

LAW 1458 v00 Use of Force, National Security, and Human Rights Seminar

J.D. Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The struggle to respect and ensure universally recognized and protected human rights while also protecting national security raises important and complex legal and policy challenges across a range of issues from the "war on terror" to climate change. This course will address current issues at the intersection of national security and human rights, with an emphasis on the novel and complex questions about the nature of conflict, national security threats, and the place of human rights in the context of the struggle against transnational terrorism after 9/11. These questions are especially salient with regard to state use of force, which involves the deployment of violence against individuals, as well as their seizure, detention, and trial.

In general terms, the current legal approach to dealing with these issues tends to present decision makers with a binary framework that was created with the assumption that conflict between states is the primary threat to international peace and stability. The absence of armed conflict is presumed to constitute peacetime, when human rights law requires that states deal with threats to the peace through law enforcement operations in which lethal force may be used only as a last resort, and exercising physical control over individuals is strictly constrained. Movement from peacetime to war occurs when states use armed force against one another, or when the use of force between non-state organized armed groups (against one another or against a state) reaches sufficient intensity and duration. During this period, the traditional paradigm assumes that international humanitarian law (IHL) largely governs state conduct, and that the demands of human rights law must be adapted to the IHL regime.

International terrorism by non-state actors presents challenges to reliance on this binary peacetime-wartime framework. One possible response is to regard terrorist violence as presumptively occurring during peacetime, which means that terrorism must be addressed under a law enforcement paradigm, which is governed by human rights law. Some critics, however, argue that the scale of destruction inflicted by international terrorist attacks is more akin to wartime damage than domestic criminal activity, and that law enforcement is insufficiently flexible to permit preventive operations. They argue that that international terrorists therefore should be treated as engaged in armed conflict that triggers the application of IHL.

Rules governing the use of force under IHL, however, run the risk of being excessively permissive when applied in settings that do not involve segregated battlefields but terrorists embedded in large civilian populations whose behavior is not unambiguously hostile. Service members are also being increasingly required to carry out activities more akin to law enforcement when undertaking operations amidst these local populations. One response to this is a call for greater incorporation of human rights principles into armed conflict operations in some settings.

There is a pressing need to develop legal concepts to guide operations that blend human rights and national security concerns in a way that does justice to the distinctive nature of many conflicts in the contemporary world. Some commentators and scholars argue that we should eschew the legal categories of human rights law and IHL and focus on forms of regulation that involve highly contextual assessment of the complex competing considerations at stake in particular situations. Others argue that traditional legal categories establish important presumptions, and that human rights law in particular is more flexible about the use of force than many observers realize. Still others suggest that we should consider a new third category to guide the use of force that draws on elements of both law enforcement and armed conflict. This course will assess these and other positions in the debate, with the aim of exploring how best to respond to the challenges that international terrorism and other forms of non-traditional state violence pose for the use of force.

Student learning objectives for the course are to use class sessions and the preparation of a paper:

  • To become familiar with basic human rights standards that govern the use of force in law enforcement settings, with particular emphasis on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • To become familiar with basic international law standards that govern the grounds for resort to force (jus ad bellum) and regulate the way force may be used in armed conflicts (jus in bello or law of armed conflict/international humanitarian law); and
  • To gain an appreciation of the complex ways in which many current security threats and responses to them have features that do not fall squarely into the categories of either crime subject to law enforcement operations or armed conflict subject to conventional military operations.

Prerequisite: Any of the following: International Law I: Introduction to International Law; National Security Law; Law of War Seminar; Foreign Relations Law; Constitutional Aspects of Foreign Affairs Seminar; International Human Rights; International Human Rights Law; or first-year elective International Law, National Security, and Human Rights. A prior course in public international law or international human rights will also satisfy the prerequisite.

LAW 672 v01 War Crimes Terrorism & International Criminal Procedure

LL.M Seminar (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

Throughout the twentieth century and into the present, international humanitarian law developed not only to regulate the conduct of war, but to punish those who would violate it; be it national prosecutions for war crimes or international criminal courts. In recognition of that fact, international humanitarian law seeks to divide the politics of war from the law of war by requiring minimal standards of due process, even for the most heinous offenders. Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, for example, famously provides that in armed conflict, all criminal punishment must be “pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.”

But what is a "regularly constituted court" and what are indispensable "judicial guarantees"? When war often means a threat to and even a breakdown of civilized society, how is the balance struck between due process, public safety and vindicating the victims of war crimes?

This class will guide students through the salient areas of international criminal law by reading, analyzing and discussing the statutes and precedents from WWII, modern IHL tribunals, and the Military Commissions convened at Guantánamo Bay. The issues covered will range from how crimes are defined, to who is subject to law of war jurisdiction, to theories of liability, to the rules of evidence, including the use of national security information and evidence derived from torture, to the problems associated with distinguishing lawful acts of guerrilla warfare from terrorism.

Over and above this treatment of the substantive aspects of the law, the course will encourage students to consider such problems as fact-finding through adversarial litigation, the reliance on common law crimes, the use of such tribunals in place of domestic courts and truth and reconciliation commissions, the liability of lawyers for war crimes and what due process is possible before law of war tribunals.

Students will be evaluated on the basis of class participation and a research paper on one aspect of international criminal law. Course administration will be conducted through TWEN, where students can download the readings for class and pose questions for class discussion.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and for Terrorism as a War Crime: Military Commissions and Alternative Approaches or War Crimes and Prosecutions.