National Security Law and Practice (SC)

Section 1SP, Fall 20

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 18/21
Credits: 1

Course Description

This course will examine a series of pressing legal and policy issues at the intersection of national security law and technology. An enduring challenge for national security lawyers is keeping pace with technological innovation and change. Rapid advances in technology have enabled the United States and other nations to develop new means to guard against threats and protect national security. At the same time, emerging technologies have provided adversaries with the capacity to develop new ways to threaten security and carry out attacks. Against this backdrop, national security law and policy has struggled to adapt to the changing technological landscape. We will explore a range of selected topics involving emerging technologies that confront national security lawyers and policy makers. These topics include: surveillance; encryption; lethal targeting and artificial intelligence; and cyber security. Each week, we will focus on a discrete challenge in the context of real-world operations and government decision-making from the perspective of national security lawyers. The core requirement of this seminar is informed and thoughtful engagement with these issues through short essay papers and classroom discussion. The reading for the course will include judicial opinions, congressional and oversight reports, and a variety of commentary, and will reflect the wide range of views on these questions. We will use the reading material each week to inform our dialogue in class and to provoke debate.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to prepare two short papers (three to five pages, double-spaced) over the course of the semester. Papers are due by midnight the day before class (directly to Canvas, not EXPO). You choose which weeks to submit your papers. Your papers should take a position or make an argument based on the reading. You should not simply summarize the reading. I encourage you to make connections among readings in a particular week’s assignments, and also across different weeks’ readings and classroom discussion. You are welcome to draw on outside information, including news reports on current events, but you are not required to do so. In addition to the assigned readings, we will address recent events in our class discussions. Therefore, during the semester, you should plan to follow current developments relevant to national security law and technology. Grades will be based on your written and oral contributions to the class: (1) 80% on your two papers and (2) 20% on informed

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: A prior or concurrent course in criminal procedure suggested, but not required. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: