582.01 National Security Law

This fall-only survey course is designed to provide students, particularly those with no background in the topic, with an overview of the American legal architecture related to the U.S. security enterprise.  The class will also examine related issues that arise "in the news."  It is aimed not only at students considering a career in government or the military, but also for those headed to private practice who appreciate that the U.S.’s $740 billion defense budget, along with $1.9 trillion in defense outlays worldwide, impact virtually all potential clients.

The course includes analyzing the Constitutional structure governing national security matters, and the role played by the three branches of government (with special emphasis on Presidential power).  It will also examine governmental surveillance, the investigation and prosecution of national security cases, as well as First Amendment issues related to national security.  In addition, homeland security issues (to include the domestic use of the armed forces), security-based travel restrictions, public health emergencies, civil-military relations, and the impact of national security issues on business transactions will be reviewed.

The textbook for this course will be Dycus, et al., National Security Law (7th ed., 2020) ISBN9781543806793.  Supplementary materials may be provided as necessary.  The instructors will use episodes from their extensive careers in government to illustrate issues, and offer practical, real-world perspectives.

Although the course will be taught online, we expect to offer in-person office hours and other small-group meetings on campus if possible (with virtual options for students who cannot attend). There is one assigned time block for the course, but the structure of classes may vary, and students may be divided into sections, discussion groups, and panels.

We will have some synchronous whole-group meetings and some class time divided between sections.  The course is expected to include guest speakers (via Zoom).  There may be occasional asynchronous content, including short lectures, podcasts, and some documentary footage. Students will have advance notice of all required participation elements.

Given this is a course in national security, class instruction will likely include written, oral, and visual depictions of physical force and violence—and occasionally extreme representations of the same.

There is no examination for this course, but a 30-page research paper (constituting 60% of the grade) is required on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructors.  With instructor approval, the course paper may fulfill the Substantial Research and Writing Project provided all SRWP requirements are met.  The remainder of the grade (40%) is based on the quality and frequency of class participation (which may include short papers).

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

LAW 120 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW is recommended, but not required, as a prerequisite for one-year LLM students.

Fall 2020

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Research paper, 25+ pages
Oral presentation
Class participation
Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., Shane Stansbury
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.582.01.F20
Email list: LAW.582.01.F20@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - LLM-ICL
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice