Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module LAW54515: National Security, Terrorism and Human Rights

Department: Law

LAW54515: National Security, Terrorism and Human Rights

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to provide a theoretical and critical assessment of the way in which the legal recognition of national security and the responses of state to terrorism have been handled in human rights law, with some comparisons to domestic constitutional law.


  • the legal definition of terrorism and national; security;
  • legislative accountability and oversight of national security agencies;
  • judicial scrutiny and control at the domestic and international levels;
  • privacy and security surveillance and file keeping; terrorism;
  • free movement, immigration and deportation;
  • legal measures in respect of terrorism, such as proscription, internment and detention;
  • human rights safeguards in criminal procedure and the trial process.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of selected issues in the legal recognition of national security and the state response to terrorism.
  • They will be able to evaluate the extent to which international and domestic law (especially in the UK and comparable constitutional systems) provides safeguards for the individual and facilitates or constrains the actions of states in response to these issues.
Subject-specific Skills:
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Students will study primary legal texts, judgments from international and domestic courts, and academic commentary and critique of these sources, together with a broader theoretical literature on the nature of national security and terrorism.
    • This is a postgraduate module. Accordingly, seminars, in which student participation is essential, will form the main teaching method. Seminars will proceed on the basis of pre-specified private study, which students will be required to undertake in order to participate in seminars.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Seminars 10 Weekly 1.5 15
    Preparation and Reading 135
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Essay. 4000 word 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    One assignment of approximately 2,000 words during whichever term the module is taught to follow the student's seminar presentation.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University