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Security and the Rule of Law


Admission requirements

Only students of the MSc Crisis and Security Management can join this course.


Security without the rule of law puts democratically ruled states at risk. This because social control, including the legitimate monopoly over the use of force, requires proper checks and balances. Yet what constitutes the legal framework for governing security? What are the different roles and responsibilities of institutions that enforce the law, provide for security, ensure safety or tackle crisis in a democratic society? And, have (inter)national approaches to security governance changed over the last decade? Practices such as targeted governance, anticipatory justice and risk management increasingly affecting how state accountability and human rights compliance is ensured. This course introduces the students to the rule of law framework for crisis and security management. From a political and legal-sociological perspective it addresses how political and legal institutions should govern security, guarantee safety or handle crisis, while protecting the rule of law in a democratic society. As an introduction, the students learn about basic concepts and theory used in mainstream legal and security governance literature. Such lines of thought are then expanded to cover the functioning of the rule of law in the field of security and crisis management. Key theoretical topics include the concept of law and legal systems, the organization of law, law making, social control and dispute resolution. Students apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to case studies about security governance dilemmas including the distinct roles of law enforcement – and intelligence agencies, incident- and risk management, the development of the information government (i-goverment) versus the surveillance society and the impact of security measures on minority communities.

Course objectives

The main goals of the course are:

  • To provide students with theoretical and empirical insights in the rule of law framework for security governance and crisis management.

  • To raise students awareness about normative dimensions of crisis management and security governance.

  • To develop the analytical, presentation and writing skills of students.


Block I, further details to be announced

The (provisional) timetable is on the first page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The sessions are dedicated to lectures, discussion, and a Moot Court.

Assessment method

  • Students are expected to participate actively in class discussions and prepare an assignment for a Moot Court.

  • Quality of participation during classes and Moot Court Assignment. Equals 30% of the total grade.

  • Final written exam. Equals 70% of total grade.


All literature can be found within the – digital – library of the University of Leiden, the CTC library of University of Leiden – Campus the Hague, on internet or on blackboard (questions in relation to the literature are addressed during the first lecture)

Books (available at the Leiden Library or at the CTC library)

  • Hudson, B. & S. Ugelvik (Eds.) (2012), Justice and security in the 21st century. Risks, rights and the rule of law. New York: Routledge.

  • Vago, S. (2012). Law & Society. London: Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Pearson Education.

Articles (available at the Leiden Library and/or online)

  • Choudhury, T.& H. Fenwick (2011), The Impact of Counter-terrorism Measures on Muslim Communities, Equality and Human Rights Commission Research Report Series, nr.72, Manchester: Equality and Human Rights Commission, Available

  • Eijkman, Q.A.M. & B. van Ginkel (2011). Compatible or incompatible: Intelligence and human rights in terrorist trials, Amsterdam Law Review, 3 (4), pp. 3-16. Available

  • Eijkman, Q.A.M & D.Weggemans (2012). ‘Open Source Intelligence and Privacy Dilemmas: Is it time to reassess state accountability?’, Security and Human Rights, 23 (4), pp.285-297, Available

  • International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). (2009). The Impact of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism on the Criminal Justice System, In Assessing Damage, Urging Action: Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights. Geneva: International Commission of Jurists, Available.

  • Pech, L. (2009), The Rule of Law as a Constitutional Principle of the European Union. Jean Monnet Working Paper Series No. 4/2009. Available

  • Oomen, B. (2011), Small Places: The home-coming of human rights, Inaugural lecture, Utrecht University. Available

  • Vermeulen, M. & Bellanova, R. (2012). ‘European ‘Smart’ Surveillance: What’s at stake for data protection, privacy and non-discrimination?’, Security and Human Rights, 23 (4), pp.297-313, Available

  • Wood, D.M. and Webster, W.C.W.R. (2009) ‘Living in Surveillance Societies: The normalization of surveillance in Europe and the threat of a bad example’. Journal of Contemporary European Research, 5 (2), pp. 259-273,


Instructor uses Blackboard. Blackboard is indispensable for this course.



Contact information

Mr.dr. Quirine Eijkman: