Global Security Law - LAWS9350

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 and ensuing 'war on terror' has enabled the global spread of counterterrorism laws, norms and practices aimed at pre-empting future threats. The trans-boundary nature of global terrorism has also prompted novel alignments of national, regional and international actors and fostered greater enmeshment between these legal orders. As authority is delinked from national and regional oversight mechanisms and becoming more reliant on expertise, serious accountability problems are arising. From targeted killing by drones to the global criminalisation of terrorist financing, and from ISIL and the problem of 'foreign terrorist fighters' to novel surveillance networks and practices, the global war on terror stretches existing legal categories, challenges fundamental rights and provokes urgent questions about the legitimate scope of transnational security governance.

This module immerses students in these contemporary problems and debates by introducing the emergent domain of global security law and governance. Particular emphasis is placed on the post-9/11 transformation of the UN Security Council into a global legislator and norm-setter in the counterterrorism field and the accountability challenges that new pre-emptive security governance practices pose. Students are exposed to a broad repertoire of theoretical approaches (including global constitutionalism, legal pluralism, international fragmentation, and transnational law) and legal mechanisms (including soft law techniques, targeted sanctions and forms algorithmic governance) and pushed to analyse an array of cross-cutting legal problems.


Contact hours

Total study hours: 200
Contact hours: 19
Private study hours: 181


LLM in (Specialisation); PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed entirely through coursework as follows:

Assessment Stream A (available to all students):
Group Presentation, 25 minutes, in groups but individually assessed (20%)
Research Essay, 4000 words (80%)

Assessment Stream B (when the clinical stream is available):
Group Presentation, 25 minutes, in groups but individually assessed (20%)
Case work essay- clinical option, 4000 words (60%)
Clinical reflection - clinical option, 1000 words (20%)

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

• Amoore, L. and de Goede, M. (eds.), 2008. Risk and the War on Terror. Routledge.
• De Frias, A.M.S., Samuel, K. and White, N. (eds.), 2012. Counter-terrorism: international law and practice. Oxford University Press.
• Krisch, N. 2010. Beyond constitutionalism: the pluralist structure of postnational law. Oxford University Press.
• Koskenniemi, M. 2011. The politics of international law. Hart Publishing.
• Ramraj, V.V, Hor, M, Roach, K. and Williams, G. (eds.), 2012. Global anti-terrorism law and policy. Cambridge University Press.
• Roach, K. 2011. The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism. Cambridge University Press.
• Van den Herik, L. and Schrijver, N. (eds.), 2013. Counter-terrorism strategies in a fragmented international legal order: meeting the challenges. Cambridge University Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate systematic knowledge and critical awareness of the emerging principles and practices of global security law and
2. Critically engage with and evaluate the key challenges that global security law and governance poses to constitutional protections,
fundamental rights and accountability;
3. Critically analyse legal conflicts in this domain from different jurisdictions or scales and multiple perspectives (including academic
researcher, practising lawyer and human rights advocate);
4. Engage with theoretical debates about the changing nature of international law, risk and pre-emption, constitutionalism and transnational
governance through the prism of global security problems;

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Critically evaluate the application and practice of law within and across different contexts;
2. Identify relevant legal and political issues from complex factual situations;
3. Undertake independent and original research in the relevant of study and formulate reasoned and critical arguments;
4. Analyse complex legal problems from a range of different theoretical perspectives and disciplinary approaches.


Stage 1


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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