The taught modules offered on the LLM programme vary from year to year. Please check the full list of taught modules list for details of modules running in specific academic years. We make every effort to ensure that every module will be offered, but modules are subject to change and cancellation. You are therefore advised to check this site regularly for further updates throughout the year preceding entry to the LLM programme.
ASPECTS OF NATIONAL SECURITY LAW (TBC) Credit value: 15 credits (6 ECTS)
Module Convenor: Dr Tom Hickman
Other Teachers: N/A
Intercollegiate teaching: No
Teaching Method: 10 x two-hour seminars
Who may enrol: LLM students, other UCL Masters students
Assessment method for Masters students: 2-hour unseen written examination
This course will examine the growth of national security law as a discipline and the various tensions with the rule of law and with human rights that occur when seeking to adjudicate national security issues. Whilst the course will have a UK focus, it will also have a strong comparative component, particularly in relation to the US, Canada and Australia. The course is intended to be a challenging course for students that will address complex legal, jurisprudential and practical issues, often at the cutting edge of academic inquiry. It is intended that several seminars will be devoted to scrutinising papers presented by guest speakers who have a particular expertise in or perspective on national security law. Not all of the syllabus will be the subject of detailed consideration in seminars and students will be expected to ensure that they have covered the topics in pre-reading.
The topics covered will be:
National Security and the Courts: an examination of the development of the justiciability of national security issues. The shift from non—justiciabilty, to the public interest immunity model, to the Closed Material Procedure model. Contrasting perspectives from US, Canada and Australia.
National Security and Parliament: an examination of the various legislative reforms in the UK which have placed national security on a legal foundation and brought national security issues into the court room.
Immigration powers: an examination of the SIAC system and comparisons with the security certificate system in Canada and consideration of US and Australian law. We will also look at the use of diplomatic assurances.
Detention, Control Orders and TPIMs: the origin and development of the control order system including its spread to Australia.
Asset freezing measures: an overview of the UN sanctions regime, the EU sanctions regime, and the US sanctions regime with particular focus on the means of challenging sanctions.
RIPA powers: The law relating to surveillance and sources.
Accountability of the Intelligence Services: this part of the course will consider the accountability of the Intelligence Services. The Justice and Security Bill and various inquiries and reports in the UK and Canada into the activities of the intelligence services will be considered.
Coercive interrogation and the law on intelligence sharing: an examination on the legal limits to the acquisition and deployment of intelligence.
Theoretical perspectives on national security law: The various theoretical models for considering national security law, in particular those propounded since 9/11. Students will be required to consider the fit and utility of such theories with the actual law and ask how they can be improved.
Within these topics, consideration will be given to the following cross-cutting topics:
The tension between secrecy and fairness.
The tension between secrecy and accountability.
The tension between human rights and acquisition of intelligence.
The problems of deploying intelligence as evidence
Whether innovations such as closed material procedure can be justified.
The charge that increased judicialisation has been counter-productive from a rule of law perspective.
TBC – there are no standard texts that cover this topic. The reading will draw together case law, reports, articles and books. A select bibliography of books and articles is set out below. Further information can be supplied.
Bradley & Ewing, Constitutional Law, Chapters 25 and 26
Justice Report, Secret Evidence, June 2009.
Prizes for this module: There are currently no prizes available for this module.
The application process for the 2014-15 academic session, for entry in September 2014, is now closed.
Information regarding applications for September 2015 will be updated on the website in September 2014.
IMPORTANT NOTICE : Updated 28 May 2014
The Home Office issued an update about the acceptance of ETS tests (including TOEFL). They have now confirmed that Higher Education students applying for a Tier 4 visa may use a TOEFL test taken after 17 April, if a Higher Education Institution is willing to use its academic discretion. For those students entering in September 2014, UCL will continue to accept the TOEFL even if it was taken after 17 April. However, if an applicant still needs to book a test then we recommend that they take an alternative test to TOEFL. Those who have already arranged to take a different test following the previous advice from the Home Office, we encourage you to go ahead with taking the alternative test.
The TOEFL test will continue to be accepted for 2014 entrants who have been asked to take an English language qualification as part of their offer condition, and do not need to apply for a visa to study in the UK.