Undergraduate Module Descriptor

LAW3206: Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and International Law

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus is likely to cover some of the following topics:


Terrorism and armed conflicts

  • terrorism in the context of global or regional security
  • nuclear, chemical and biological terrorism
  • spreading terror in armed conflict
  • foreign fighters phenomenon
  • terrorism as an obstacle in the delivery of humanitarian aid

International and transnational crimes and international justice

  • terrorism as international crime
  • terrorism and organised transnational crime networks (drug-trafficking, piracy, hostage taking, bombings and mass killing)
  • terrorist financing
  • international criminal justice in relation to acts of terrorism
  • International Special Tribunal for Lebanon
  • military courts- Guantanamo Bay trials- case study

Counter-terrorism and human rights

  • counter-terrorism legislation and democratic oversight
  • detention, prosecution and the right to a fair trial
  • torture and counter-terrorism
  • extraordinary renditions- case study

Terrorist and anti-terrorist strategies on the use of social media, Internet and communication technologies, and charitable or humanitarian organisations.

United Nations and international cooperation to combat terrorism

  • UN Office on Drugs and Crimes- Terrorism Prevention branch
  • Role of UN in prevention of violent terrorism
  • Islamic State of Iraq and Levant  (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida sanctions regime
  • Responses of regional organisations to combatting terrorism

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities16.511 x 1.5 hour interactive lectures (i.e. requiring active student participation)
Scheduled learning and teaching activities7.55 x 1.5 hour seminars
Scheduled learning and teaching activities3Exeter Centre for International Law events
Guided independent study60Assigned seminar preparation and lecture readings
Guided independent study18Preparation of formative assessment
Guided independent study45Research for and writing of summative assessment

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

SHERLOC: https://sherloc.unodc.org/cld/v3/sherloc/

Legal instruments UN compilations : https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/international-legal-instruments

The International Bar Association (IBA) and the Open Society Justice Initiative high-level panel discussion marking the release of the report Terrorism and International Law: Accountability, Remedies, and Reform:


Other Learning Resources

American Journal of International Law (AJIL)  

European Journal of International Law (EJIL)  

International and Comparative Law Quarterly (ICLQ)  

Journal of International Criminal Justice (JICJ)

Leiden Journal of International Law (LJIL)

Journal of Conflict and Security Law (JCSL)