Course Description

The aim of this course is to introduce students, particularly professionals, involved in force-based training, national security, intelligence, law enforcement, investigations, defense, judicial and parliamentary oversight roles to the contemporary field of security and intelligence law.
The security law program focuses on the role of law in security and intelligence matters. The course features a rigorous and innovative curriculum designed to enable students to gain a deeper and practical understanding of the world’s most pressing security law challenges.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course students will inter alia be able to:

  • Discuss emerging ‘principles’ of security law
  • Assess a range of contemporary national and international security law issues
  • Discuss contemporary legal issues in jus in bello and war crimes
  • Navigate the labyrinth of laws within the security community
  • Understand the legal aspects of security and intelligence operations (investigations, surveillance, clandestine ops, public order management, human rights and rule of law issues)

Course Contents

The course covers the following areas of the curriculum:
a) Principles of Security Law
b) Sources of Law and National Security Architecture;
c) Security and Intelligence Community Laws;
d) National Security and Human Rights;
e) Armed Conflict Law (Jus in Bello);
f) Public Order and Emergency Law;
g) International War Crimes Practicum;
h) Municipal Criminal Law and Security Procedure;
i) International Criminal Law and Procedure;
j) Border, Maritime, and Cyber Security Law;
k) Interception Legislation and Privacy Rights
l) Law and Procedure for Investigators
m) UN, AU and ECOWAS Peace & Security Conventions, Protocols, Instruments
n) Parliament and Executive Powers in National Security

Teaching Method

The teaching method will comprise lectures, discussions and group seminars.

Measurement of Learning Outcomes

Student understanding will be assessed through assignments, seminars, and end of course examination.

Recommended Reading

Dickson, O. B. (2016) Principles of Security Law, Accra, Icon Publishers (ISBN: 978-9988-8567-5-5)
The Constitution, 1992
United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS Conventions, Protocols, Instruments:; ;
Dickson, O. B. (2016) A Handbook on Security: Law, Security Management, and Investigations, Accra, Icon Publishers (ISBN: 978-9988-8567-4-8)
Terror in the Balance: Security, Liberty, and the Courts, Eric A. Posner and Adrian Vermeule
Regulating Covert Action: Practices, Contexts, and Policies of Covert Coercion Abroad in International and American Law, W. Michael Reisman and Judge James E. Baker
The National Security Court System: A Natural Evolution of Justice in an Age of Terror, Glenn Sulmasy
The Harvard National Security Journal, Harvard University, Cambridge
The Oxford Journal of Global Security Studies, Oxford University Press

About the Lecturer

Osei Bonsu Dickson, BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), LLM (UG), NIS (Harvard), Ph.D. Candidate (OUM), BL is a distinguished lawyer, speaker, author and legal academic in security, intelligence, defense and business law. He is Chief Legal Advisor at National Security Council Secretariat. His teaching and research interest relate to Modern Security Governance and Comparative Security Law.