Friday, June 26, 2009

Some Things Old, Some Things New

A selection of last week’s new arrivals.
  • Fictions of Justice: the International Criminal Court and the challenge of legal pluralism in Sub-Saharan Africa by Kamari Maxine Clarke (2009). ISBN 9780521889100 (Dedicated to Chima Ubani, Nigerian human rights leader killed in a motor accident in 2005).
The book explores how notions of justice are negotiated through everyday micropractices and grassroots contestations of these practices. Part One of the book “Multiple Domains of Justice” maps the formations of secular human rights development, Part Two “The Politics of Incommensurability” exposes the controversies over such formations, focusing on questions of religious violence and implementation of the Shariah.
This multidimensional and scholarly collection of 11 essays was inspired by the conference proceedings of a three-day conference organized in 2005 by the University of Western Ontario’s Holocaust Literature research Institute to discuss the political and humanitarian crisis in Darfur. Most of the authors presented an earlier version of their chapters there. Romeo Daillaire, who was force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1993-1994 wrote a compelling account of his experiences in the region in his foreword. The authors focus on the genocide in Rwanda, mass-atrocities in Darfur, international media coverage of these events, NGO campaigns and the eventual failure of the international community to prevent or stop crimes against humanity.
An excellent study of the historical, political, and legal arrangements of this remarkable piece of land. The practice of territorial leasing expanded toward the end of the 19th century as an accepted part of treaty law and customary international law. An example is the lease of Hong Kong’s New Territories by Great Britain from China in 1898. The expiration of the lease expired in 1997 and sovereignty was transferred to the People’s Republic of China. The Guantanamo Bay lease, in 1903 by the United States from Cuba, for coaling and naval stations, has created “a Frankenstein-like territory that eluded the legal control of its creators”.

Back to the past, the 17th and 18th century:
and
  • The Elements of Law. Natural and Politic: Part I, Human Nature, Part II, De Corporo Politico; with three lives / Thomas Hobbes, ed. with an introduction and notes by J.C.A. Gaskin (2008). ISBN 9780199549702
The biography of Heineccius follows his footsteps from Halle, to Franeker and Frankfurt and highlights his importance as one of the most influential jurists of the 18th century. He published on Roman Law, German Law and Natural Law.

Both books are extremely important for the study of the history of international law. The old and rare books section contains some 10.000 titles of works published before 1850, with fine editions of the works of Grotius, Pufendorf, Burlamaqui, and Bynkershoek to name a few.

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