Monday, November 18, 2019

The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice

Maya Steinitz, The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2019).
When multinational corporations cause mass harms to lives, livelihoods, and the environment in developing countries, it is nearly impossible for victims to find a court that can and will issue an enforceable judgment. In this work, Professor Maya Steinitz presents a detailed rationale for the creation of an International Court of Civil Justice (ICCJ) to hear such transnational mass tort cases. The world's legal systems were not designed to solve these kinds of complex transnational disputes, and the absence of mechanisms to ensure coordination means that victims try, but fail, to find justice in country after country, court after court. The Case for an International Court of Civil Justice explains how the ICCJ would provide victims with access to justice and corporate defendants with a non-corrupt forum and an end to the cost and uncertainty of unending litigation -- more efficiently resolving the most complicated types of civil litigation.
-Publisher's Description

Adversarial Legalism

Robert A. Kagan, Adversarial Legalism: The American Way of Law (Harvard University Press, 2019).
In the first edition of this groundbreaking book, Robert Kagan explained why American is much more adversarial -- likely to rely on legal threats and lawsuits -- than other economically advanced countries, with more prescriptive laws, more costly adjudications, and more severe penalties. This updated edition also addresses the rise of the conservative legal movement and anti-statism in the Republican party, which have put in sharp relief the virtues of adversarial legalism in its ability to empower citizens, lawyers, and judges to mount challenges to the arbitrary or unlawful exercise of government authority.
-Publisher's Description

The Fire Is upon Us

Nicholas Buccola, The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate Over Race in America (Princeton University Press, 2019).
On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America's most influential conservative intellect.
Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America's racial divide today.
-Publisher's Description

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Landscape Protection in International Law

Amy Strecker, Landscape Protection in International Law (Oxford University Press, 2018).

How does international law, which deals for the most part with universality, deal with something so region-specific and particular as landscape? What is the legal conception of landscape and what are the various roles played by international law in its protection? Amy Strecker assesses the institutional framework for landscape protection, analyses  the interplay between landscape and human rights, and links the etymology and theory of landscape with its articulation in law.
-Publisher's Description

The Obligation Dilemma

Ishtiyaque Haji, The Obligation Dilemma (Oxford University Press, 2019).
Can you be morally obligated to do something? To renowned philosopher Ishtiyaque Haji, the answer is guardedly no. Regardless of whether determinism is true, he argues, there is a prima facie plausibility that there are no moral obligations. Powerfully and efficiently, Haji develops a conclusion that has major implications for how we conceive issues in moral responsibility and free will. The book develops the obligation dilemma as clearly as possible. The next step will be for further sustained philosophical work to solve it, assuming it can be resolved, inspired by Haji.
-Publisher's Description

The Ambivalence of Good

Jan Eckel, The Ambivalence of Good: Human Rights in International Politics Since the 1940s (Oxford University Press, 2019).
The Ambivalence of Good examines the genesis and evolution of international human rights politics since the 1940s. Focusing on key developments such as the shaping of the UN human rights system, decolonization, the rise of Amnesty International, the campaigns against the Pinochet dictatorship, the moral politics of Western governments, and dissidence in Eastern Europe, the book traces how human rights profoundly, if subtly, transformed global affairs.
-Publisher's Description

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Justice Blindfolded

Adriano Prosperi, Justice Blindfolded: The Historical Course of an Image (Brill, 2018).
Justice Blindfolded gives an overview of the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries. Justice has been portrayed as a woman with scales, or holding a sword, or, since the fifteenth century, with her eyes bandaged. This last symbol contains the idea that justice is both impartial and blind, reminding indirectly of the bandaged Christ on
the cross, a central figure in the Christian idea of fairness and forgiveness.
-Publisher's Description

Gender War

Solange Mouthaan and Olga Jurasz, Gender War: International and Transitional Justice Perspectives (Intersentia, 2019).
This book explores and challenges common assumptions about gender, conflict, and post-conflict situations. It critically examines the gendered aspects of international and transitional justice processes by subverting traditional understandings of how wars are waged, the power dynamics involved, and the experiences of victims. The book also highlights the gendered stereotypes that underpin the (mis)perceptions about gender and war in order to reveal the multi-dimensional nature of modern conflicts and their aftermaths.
-Publisher's Description

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline?

Heike Krieger, Georg Nolte and Andreas Zimmermann, The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline? (Oxford University Press, 2019).
In this book distinguished scholars reflect on how to approach these questions from historical, system-oriented, and actor-centred perspectives. The contributions engage, inter alia, with the rise of European international law since the seventeenth century, compliance as an indicator for the state of international law, informal law-making in times of populism, the influence of the BRICS states and non-state actors on international law, international law's contribution to global justice, the contestation of value-based norms, and the international rule of law in light of legitimacy claims. In a time of global instability, this books makes an important contribution to our understanding of the resilience of the international rule of law.
-Publisher's Description


Wendy Wagner with Will Walker, Incomprehensible!: A Study of How Our Legal System Encourages Incomprehensibility, Why It Matters, and What We Can Do About It (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Incomprehensible! argues that surrendering to incomprehensibility is a bad mistake. Drawing together evidence from diverse fields such as consumer protection, financial regulation, patents, chemical control, and administrative and legislative process, this book identifies a number of important legal programs that are built on the foundational assumption that "more information is better." Each of these legal processes has been designed in ways that ignore the imperative of meaningful communication. To rectify this systemic problem, the law must be re-designed to pay careful attention to the problem of incomprehensibility.
-Publisher's Description