Center on Law, Ethics and National Security

Center on Law, Ethics and National Security

Founded in 1993, the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security (LENS) promotes education and discussion of the complex and diverse issues involved in national security. These include such domestic law topics as the role of the respective branches of government in security matters, the legal and policy implications of counterterrorism operations (including surveillance at home and abroad), as well as the investigation and prosecution of national security cases. On the international side, LENS addresses such topics as the use of force in international affairs, the law of armed conflict, the impact of security issues on international business endeavors, and the emerging global role of cyber and artificial intelligence. Infusing all of these topics is a deep concern for the often extraordinarily difficult ethical issues that pervade national and, really, global security matters. 

At its core, LENS is focused on preparing the next generation of national security leaders, but also aims to advance for all a greater understanding of the role of law and ethics in an increasingly complex global security environment.


Upcoming Events

  • September 26:  Maj Gen (Ret.) Dunlap will keynote “The Future and Ethics of Uncrewed and Autonomous Warfare” conference sponsored by the University of South Florida’s Global and National Security Institute, as part of its Tampa Summit Series, and in partnership with USF’s College of Arts and Sciences, the National Defense University's Near East and South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies, and U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), Tampa, FL.

  • October 9: Ms. Heather Huntley of the Centers for Disease Control General Counsel office will speak from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. about current issues in health law, especially as they intersect with national security in Room 3043.

  • November 1: The National Security Law Society will host a "Summer Experience Panel" from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 4045. 

  • November 5:  The Center of Law, Ethics and National Security will host a viewing of the movie, Eye in the Sky, to be followed by a discussion. Invitation only; for more information contact Professor Dunlap.

  • November 16-17: The Center on Law, Ethics and National Security will cosponsor a trip to Washington, DC for the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security annual conference.  Contact Riley Flewelling or Madison Cash for further information.

  • February 23-24, 2024:  29th Annual National Security Law Conference, Duke Law.

CalendarSee all events


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Contact us

Center on Law, Ethics and National Security
Duke University School of Law
210 Science Drive
Box 90358
Durham, North Carolina, 27708-0358

For more information, contact Bobbi Pabon, at 919-613-8585

Give to LENS

For information regarding gifts to LENS, please contact:
Katharine Buchanan
Assistant Dean for Alumni & Development
(919) 613-7217 or

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