Terror, Law and War

Subject CRIM90015 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Entry to the Master of Criminology, Postgraduate Diploma or 4th year Honours in Criminology. Entry to the Master of Criminology, Postgraduate Diploma or 4th year Honours in Criminology.
Corequisites: 166-505 Terror, Law and War is a compulsory component in the first 100 points of the 200 point Master of Criminology course.
Recommended Background Knowledge: Criminology at Undergraduate level
Non Allowed Subjects: none
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Nesam Mcmillan


Dr. Juliet Rogers


Subject Overview:

This subject considers and compares the response to terrorism around the world in the form of legal initiatives, instigations of war, and the implementation of practices of rendition, arbitrary detention and torture. These have been argued to contravene due process and the presumption of innocence, and contribute to civil and global unrest, sometimes inspiring criminal action and creating new categories of what it means to be criminal. The subject draws upon the conceptual and analytical tools of criminological and socio-legal examination including the political, social and legal construction of terror and terrorism. The inspiration for the anti-terrorism initiatives and the conflicting arguments about their necessity, will be examined together with the (side) effects they have created. It will look at examples such as the Iraq war, the US PATRIOT Act and the anti-terrorism laws in Australia, the US and England.

  • To analyse the current climate of anti-terror.
  • To critically consider arguments for and against anti-terror initiatives.
  • To explore the use of anti-terrorism laws, pre-emptive war and practices of torture and rendition.
  • To consider the effects of torture and anti-terror initiatives on contemporary society.
Assessment: A 1000-word reflective essay 20% due during the semester and a 4000-word research essay 80% due during the examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

A Subject Reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

Recommended Texts:
  • Williams, George and Lynch, Andrew, What Price Security? Taking Stock of Australia&amp.rsquo.s Anti-Terror Laws (UNSW Press, 2006) 1-95.
  • Simpson, Gerry, War, Law and Crime: War Crimes, Trials and the Reinvention of International Law, Cambridge. Polity Press, 2007.
  • Zizek, Slavoj, Iraq and the Borrowed Kettle, Verso Books, New York, 2004.
  • Burnside, Julian &amp.lsquo.The New Terror: Gunpowder Plot to Guantanamo&amp.rsquo. Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol 24, June 2006 pp 23-38.
  • Butler, Judith Precarious Life: the Powers of Mourning and Violence, London, Verso, 2003.Scarry, Elaine Body in Pain: the making and unmaking of the world, New York, Oxford, 1985.
  • Derrida, Jacques Rogues: Two Essays on Reason (trans) Pascale-anne Brault and Michael Naas. Stanford University Press: California, 2005.
  • Foucault, Michel Discipline and Punish: the birth of the Prison (trans) Alan Sheridan, New York, Pantheon, 1977.
  • Said, Edward, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient New York, Penguin Books, 1978.
  • Pugliese, Joseph &amp.lsquo.Necro-ethics of terrorism&amp.rsquo. Public Culture (forthcoming).
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have highly developed cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally.
  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications.
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.
Related Course(s): Master of Criminology (CWT)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology

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