Counterterrorism Law and Policy

Counterterrorism Law and Policy


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on counterterrorism law. In this course, we’ll introduce you to the strategies the United States, its allies and international organizations such as the United Nations, use when combatting global terrorism. This is an introductory level course and no prior experience or knowledge of international law or national security law is necessary.

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, fighting terrorism and preventing terrorist acts across the world have become hallmarks of U.S. foreign policy. How does the United States fight terrorism though and what are the legal sources for these methods to halting this menace?

The course begins by defining the law of armed conflict and setting out the sources for this law, customary international law and treaties. We also describe how the United States’ War on Terror has affected this area of law, by illustrating how war is now fought as well as how timing and geographic scope of war have been altered.

In the second module, we discuss the capture of terrorist suspects, as well as the judicial aspects of suspect detention, including rights, conditions, and duration.  Next, we move to the “law enforcement paradigm” and identify the U.S. agencies most involved in combating terrorism and specifically looking at each of the roles and methods employed by each. Here, we’ll also learn about the legality of different methods for terrorist identification.

In the fourth module, we discuss non-criminal sanctions used to combat terrorism and will analyze the effectiveness of imposing economic sanctions and civil liability on terrorists for their acts. Finally, we wrap up by surveying international counterterrorism efforts and the laws behind international cooperation as well as the policies and strategies employed by countries and organizations when working together to halt terrorism.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback. 

What is a video-course?

A LawShelf video-course is an in-depth series of presentations on a discreet legal topic. LawShelf video-courses focus on practical legal information and applications and are each designed to familiarize the viewer with a legal topic quickly and efficiently.

Who should take a video-course?

Our video courses are designed for professionals such as attorneys, paralegals, corporate officers and financial professionals, as well as laypeople looking to deepen their knowledge of particular areas of law. The courses allow you to acquire the specific knowledge and skills that you need without the expense and time commitment of going “back to school” for a degree. 

How do I learn?

Video courses are divided into 5 or 6 modules.  Each module contains a video lesson (usually about 15 minutes long) and a series of self-test questions that you can use to practice and make sure that you understand the material.

How do I complete a video-course?

To complete a video-course, you must pass a 10-question multiple-choice examination by scoring 70% or higher.  The questions on the exam are randomly selected from the self-test question sets for the various modules. You can retake an exam as many times as you need to, though you will not get the same questions each time since the questions are drawn from an exam bank.

How long will it take me to complete a video-course?

Between watching the modules, doing the self-test practice questions, reviewing the material and taking the final exam, we estimate that completing a video-course requires a time investment of 4-5 hours.  The courses are designed to get straight to the point. We’re cognizant that your time is valuable, and we condense the information you need to know to comprehensively cover a subject into as little time as practical.

Is there limit to how many video-courses I can take or complete?

No. A LawShelf subscription enables you to access any and all LawShelf content, including all video-courses. You can take courses as quickly or slowly as your time allows.

Do I receive any recognition for completing a video-course?

Once you complete the course by passing the final exam, you will be awarded a digital badge to display as evidence of your training and accomplishment.

How will a digital badge help me? 

Modern educational trends are moving away from traditional classroom-based course completion models and towards skills-based education. Employers today care more about skills than ever before. LawShelf digital badges conform to the Open Badge standard and are verifiable records of your skills that can easily be shared online.

How long do I retain access to the course materials?

You retain access the modules and take the final exam as long as you are a subscriber to LawShelf.

International Law of Armed Conflict and Combatting Terrorism - Module 1 of 5

Capture and Detention of Terrorists - Module 2 of 5

Law Enforcement and Methods to Combat Terrorism - Module 3 of 5

Economic Sanctions and Lawsuits Against Terrorists - Module 4 of 5

International Counterterrorism Efforts - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.