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Vol 24 No 10 Oct/Nov 2019

Book of the Month

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Lewis and Buchan: Clinical Negligence A Practical Guide

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International Law: A Critical Introduction 2nd ed

ISBN13: 9781509926725
Previous Edition ISBN: 9781849460972
Published: August 2019
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: £21.99

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This new edition provides a critical introduction to the concepts, principles and rules of international law through a consideration of contemporary international events. It provides ways of considering the relevance of international law to particular disputes and also an appreciation of both the possibilities and limitations of legal method in international disputes. This in turn necessitates an examination of the relationship between international law and power. Thus rather than studying international law as a system of rules that purports to govern, or at least constrain, the international community, this book considers the actual effects of international law upon international disagreements.

Such an approach will be sceptical rather than cynical, intending to provide the means by which the role of international law may be evaluated. This entails discussion of the legal quality of international law; of the relationship between the academic disciplines of international law and international relations; of the apparent 'Eurocentricity' of international law, and of the relationship between political power and the ability to use or abuse (or ignore) international law. In addition, the new edition explores the impact of the United States' new direction in foreign policy, China's claims in the South China Sea and self-determination in the face of increasing movements for secession (Scotland and Catalonia).

Underlying the book is the assertion that international law is political in content (in the sense of being concerned with the exercise of power) but that it draws much of its effectiveness from its self-portrayal as being apolitical, or at least politically neutral.

Public International Law
I. International Law and Domestic Law
II. Paradoxes in the Contemporary World
III. Law and Power
IV. The Structure of the Book
1. The Distinctive Nature of International Law
I. What is International Law?
II. How International Law Differs from Domestic Law
III. The Changing Nature of International Law
IV. International Law and Common Sense
V. What Makes International Law 'Law'?
VI. Why is it Necessary to Identify the Sources of International Law?
2. The Dynamic Quality of International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Concept of Sovereignty and Sovereign Equality
III. The Concept of Sovereignty and Jurisdiction
IV. Sovereignty and Controversial Bases of International Jurisdiction
V. Sovereign Equality and the Concept of Universal Jurisdiction
VI. Immunity from Jurisdiction
VII. Legal Personality in International Law
VIII.The Place of the Individual in International Law
IX. The Individual in International Law as Exemplified by the European Convention on Human Rights..
X. The Interrelationship between Sovereignty, Personality and the Individual in International Law
3. Self-determination and Territory in International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Concept of Self-determination in International Law before the Creation of the United Nations
III.The United Nations Charter, Self-determination and Decolonisation
IV.Self-determination after the Cold War
V. States, Territory and Recognition
VI.Territorial and Other Rights Over the Sea and its Bed
VII. Conclusion
4. The International Obligations of States: Treaties and State Responsibility
I. Introduction
II. The Law of Treaties
III.State Responsibility in International Law
5. The United Nations, the UN Charter and International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Origins of the UN
III.The Structure of the UN
IV.How the UN is Financed
V. The UN Charter: A Constitution for the World?
VI. Conclusion
6. Human Rights in International Law
I. Introduction
II. What are Human Rights?
III.The Politics of Human Rights
IV.The International Bill of Human Rights
V. Other Principal UN Human Rights Conventions and Bodies
VI.Regional Protection of Human Rights
VII. The International Criminal Court
7. The Peaceful Settlement of Disputes in International Law
I. Introduction
II. Legal Method and International Dispute Resolution
III.The International Court of Justice
IV. International Arbitration
V. Conclusion
8. Use of Force in International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Use of Force in International Law before the Creation of the UN
III.The Charter of the UN
IV.Chapter VII of the UN Charter
V. Self-defence in International Law
VI.From Humanitarian Intervention to Responsibility to Protect
VII. Rules Constraining the Type of Force Permissible
VIII. Conclusion
9. The Misery and Grandeur of International Law
I. Introduction
II. The Paradox of Sovereign Equality
III.The United States of America and International Law
IV.The Case of Israel and International Law
V. Conclusion