Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Books We Like: Essays in Honor of Judge Bruno Simma

I remember standing on a street corner in The Hague, waiting for a tram.  I happened to look over at another man who was also waiting for a tram . . . it happened to be Judge Bruno Simma of the International Court of Justice.  You just never know who you're going to run into on a tram line in the Netherlands.

But now I have just received an extraordinary book honoring that same man on his 70th birthday.  Published by the good people of Oxford University Press, this magnificent tribute to Judge Simma is more than 1300 pages long.  Its contibutors include international law professors, judges, and practitioners.  It has a useful index, something often omitted in works like this.  It is carefully edited and beautifully presented.  And it has an unfortunate title:  "From Bilaterialism to Community Interest."  OK, we know that all titles can't be perfect (and this one isn't), but that unfortunate title is saved by the line underneath it:  "Essays in Honour of Judge Bruno Simma."  The cover is an attractive painting by Monet -- a sailboat upon still waters.  It is perhaps a metaphor for the extraordinary career of Judge Simma, whose decisions and leadership on the court are so appreciated.

It will take us some time to get through this entire volume, but it is indeed a gem and a fitting tribute to an extraordinary man.  Click here for more information about the book (and how to order it for your library).

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

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