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Current Issues in Counter Terrorism & Media Law - LAW00076M

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  • Department: The York Law School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Joanna Gilmore
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module provides an opportunity for students to explore issues arising in counter terrorism and media law. It is concerned not only with substantive matters in these areas but with the relationship between the two areas, where issues such as transparency, open justice, accountability, freedom of speech, and access to information arise in counter-terrorism contexts.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

  • None

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aim of this module is module to develop knowledge and understanding of counter terrorism law and media law, with a particular focus on the ways that contemporary challenges arise and are addressed by the institutions of the state, by the media, by lawyers, and by groups and individuals acting in the public interest. It is concerned not only with substantive matters in these areas but with the relationship between the two areas, where issues such as transparency, open justice, accountability, freedom of speech, and access to information arise in counter-terrorism contexts. In exploring these concerns students will be required to address the practicalities that arise in meeting contemporary challenges and the ways that different, looking at how issues or goals might be prioritised and how decisions might best be made. The module aims to develop skills that can be applied in wider contexts; in particular, we will consider skills of research, reflection, analysis, argument and critique, building students' ability to articulate, support and defend positions that draw on and deploy appropriate evidence.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you should be able to demonstrate

  1. a depth of knowledge and critical understanding of aspects of contemporary counter-terrorism law and policy, media law and practice, and the intersections between these areas, with an appreciation of the substance of measures as well as a selection of the contexts (eg, theoretical, political, practical, comparative) in which different legal measures sit;
  2. an ability to use and apply that knowledge and critical understanding to factual scenarios;
  3. the development and use of oral discussion skills and an ability to engage in contemporary debates in the area;
  4. an ability to identify and critically assess sources and evidence in the field;
  5. an ability to communicate critically on complex legal issues in a chosen written format for a specific audience
  6. an ability to reflect upon and critically evaluate counter-terrorism and media laws and the development of your skills.

Module content

The module content will cover matters such as the following:

  • Substantive terrorism offences
  • Procedures for preventing and investigating terrorism offences
  • Court procedures for handling criminal and civil matters relating to terrorism
  • Legislative processes for enacting terrorism laws
  • Processes for reporting on and reviewing terrorism laws
  • Substantive laws relating to what the media can and cannot report in relation to terrorism matter before they reach the courts
  • Substantive laws relating to what the media can and cannot report in relation to matters once they reach the courts
  • Legal and ethical obligations of journalists
  • The rights of suspects and their families
  • The rights of journalists
  • The application of laws to factual scenarios
  • International and comparative contexts

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay or law reform submission or legal advice
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

For the written submission students may do an essay or a law reform submission or a legal advice.

  • Students will devise their own question or task.
  • Students may submit an essay or task proposal before or during week 6. This will be a very short document on a form with some specific headings. It will provide students with an opportunity to receive some comments and direction on their proposed essay or law reform submission.

Full details will be provided on the VLE.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay or law reform submission or legal advice
N/A 100

Module feedback

The module is taught primarily through two-hour workshops. Workshops serve as a forum for you to develop and exchange your ideas in discussion, learn from each other and explore issues in preparation for assessment. In workshops there will be regular feedback from the tutor as well as exercises in peer-feedback. There will be written feedback on assessment task submitted in week 5 and on the essay (within four weeks as per the university policy). Students will also be given the opportunity to submit a proposal for an essay topic before or during week 6; oral and/or written feedback will be provided within ten days.

Indicative reading

There is not a core text for this module, but some useful texts are set out below. Journal articles will be available via the module reading list on the Yorkshare VLE and you will receive additional instructions about essential reading for workshops.

Mark Hanna and Mike Dodd, McNae's Essential Law for Journalists, 25th ed (Oxford University Press 2020)

Genevieve Lennon and Clive Walker (eds) Routledge Handbook of Law and Terrorism (Routledge 2015).

Christiane Rabenstein and Marnie Ratcliffe, Blackstone's Counter Terrorism Handbook, 4th ed (Oxford University Press 2019)

Kent Roach, The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism (Cambridge University Press 2011).

Clive Walker, Blackstone’s Guide to the Anti-Terrorism Legislation (2nd edn, Oxford University Press 2009).

The web site of the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation: https://terrorismlegislationreviewer.independent.gov.uk/



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.