Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Courses M - S

573: Prosecuting and Defending Terrorism Cases

Credit Hours




This class will examine how terrorism cases are investigated, prosecuted, defended and punished. It will address how suspected terrorists are targeted and captured, including surveillance methods and interrogation techniques, as well as the questions of whether these measures are effective and potentially undermine well-established and deeply in-grained constitutional liberties and culture. It will cover classified evidence in the adversarial process -- including how it is gathered, how it impacts charging decisions and trial strategies, and how courts manage it in adversarial proceedings. In addition to drawing out these issues as they operate in civilian courts, the course will also examine judicial alternatives, including the use of military tribunals or national security adjudicative systems in other constitutional democracies, as well as extra-judicial and judicially pre-emptive measures such as preventative detention, designations and the freezing of assets. Overarching issues that will animate our exploration will be the need for emergency rules and powers, the role(s) of the courts and counsel, and how well the U.S. legal system faces the challenge of balancing rule of law and civil liberty principles with the national security concerns in countering terrorism, both internationally and domestically.

This is a non-exam course. Grades will be based (i) short written impression statements on assigned weekly readings which will be used as prompts for class discussion; (ii) classroom participation, and; (iii) a 15-20 page paper on a topic of choice in the field. The class will include participation by guest speakers, including scholars and practitioners in the field.