University of Pittsburgh

Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Seminar

Abbreviated Title: Criminal Justice and Homeland
Catalog Number: 5868
3.0 Credits

Since September of 2001, numerous changes in criminal procedure and substantive criminal law, as well as new interpretations of existing statutes and doctrines in these areas, have begun to redefine criminal justice. This course will examine the intersection between criminal justice and homeland security by focusing students on some of the most important changes in the law since the terrorist attacks. We will study domestic law for the most part, including controversial provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, statutes prohibiting the material support of terrorism, electronic surveillance law, and the use of immigration powers, to name just a few. Another significant focus will be the use of coercive interrogation. The course will offer students an opportunity for intensive work in both written and oral advocacy. Course requirements will include two problems designed by the instructor; for each problem, each student must prepare a brief of approximately 15 pages and engage in an oral argument. Both briefs will be critiqued by the instructor, and must then be redrafted to meet the instructor’s comments. If the setting permits, oral arguments will be recorded and reviewed afterward one on one with the instructor. The reading in the course is extensive, and will certainly exceed the customary number of pages for a traditional three-credit course. This is because the material is so new and changes so rapidly that an adequate casebook (with well-digested and excerpted materials) does not yet exist. Thus the class utilizes a package of copied materials, most of which are original documents. There will be no exam or semester-end paper. Rather, grading will be based on the two briefs, the oral arguments, and in-class performance. The writing in the course will satisfy the School of Law's upper level writing requirement.

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