Syllabus for HLS-611

International Legal and Ethical Issues in Homeland Security


This course examines statutory, constitutional, military and international legal principles and their relation to the design and implementation of national and international strategies related to homeland security in both the domestic and global arenas. Emphasis will be on legal and due process actions and the legality of those actions in domestic, military and international settings. There will be an intense focus on the exposure, explanation and understanding of the existing domestic and international laws and treaties. This course will provide the student with exposure to a multitude of issues in the area of homeland security by examining the basic concept of investigating and prosecuting terrorism and its affect both domestically and internationally. The method of study and exposure to these topics is designed to facilitate the student in the development of the ability to identify, understand, and perform critical thinking and written assessment of concepts directly relating to legal and due process issues relating to terrorism and homeland security challenges.


  1. Due Process Proceedings
  2. Defining States of Emergencies
  3. Terrorists Acts as Grounds for a State of Emergency
  4. Human Rights Treaties
  5. The European Rights Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
  6. The Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights
  7. Customary International Law and General Principles of Law
  8. Rights to and in Trial
  9. Rights in Prison and Right to Appeals
  10. Customary International Law of Human Rights as United States Law
  11. Treaty Law and Jurisprudence
  12. Customary International Law
  13. The Community of Nation’s Response to Terrorism
  14. The response of the international community to terrorism
  15. States of Emergency and the Constitution Prior to 9-11
  16. United States Anti-Terrorism Measure after September 11, 2001
  17. The Legality of the United States Patriot Act
  18. Application of International Law on the U.S. Global War on Terror
  19. Application of international law to the United States global war on terror


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Construct and analyze courses of action to address issues related to the legal ramifications of terrorist activities in national and international arenas.
  2. Select and apply appropriate criminal due process guarantees related to real world peacetime issues in international legal settings.
  3. Assess a variety of domestic criminal due process guarantees within the United States during times of crisis and emergency.
  4. Compare, contrast, and utilize laws and procedures in times of emergency and terrorism while remaining within due process parameters of international legal systems.
  5. Explain domestic criminal due process and Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) systems in times of emergency and terrorism threats in domestic settings.
  6. Assess domestic response(s) to emergencies and terrorist activities in accordance with US laws, the UCMJ, and various international laws and treaties.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University’s textbook supplier, MBS Direct, at

Required Textbook


International Legal and Ethical Issues in Homeland Security is a three-credit online course, consisting of six  modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored midterm examination, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

For this course you will be required to participate in twelve discussion forums related to a variety of course topics.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Final Paper

This course requires completion of a 20-22 page research paper. Details and guidelines are found in the Final Paper section of the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:


















Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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