Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Books We Really, Really, Really Like: Return of an Old Friend -- Comfort Food for International Lawyers -- A New Edition of Brierly's Law of Nations

BrierlyIt's small enough to fit in your coat pocket.  

You can carry it with you in the winter months.  

You can pull it out when you need the international lawyers' equivalent of comfort food.  

It's a new edition of Brierly's Law of Nations, prepared by Andrew Clapham and published by Oxford University Press.  

And it's wonderful.

The book first appeared in 1928 and it attracted a wide readership of lawyers and non-lawyers alike.  Over the years, new editions became a standard reference work and introduction to international law.  

The last edition was published in 1963.  This new, seventh edition is the first revision of the book in almost 50 years.  It was revised by Andrew Clapham, a Professor of Public International Law at the Graduate Institute of International Law and Development Studies in Geneva and Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.  He's updated the book in innovative ways, sometimes taking passages from Brierly's other work.  He also focused more on Brierly's fifth edition, rather than the 1963 edition revised by Sir Humphrey Waldock.  Professor Clapham has updated the work with references to recent treaties, tribunal decisions, and international law scholarship.  He has made revisions with a view of keeping the easy readability of this treasure.

The revised edition is available in hardback and paperback.  It's just over 500 pages of text, easy to read in both the style of prose and in the typesetting of the book.  You do want a copy of this.  You know you do.  This would make a great holiday gift for your favorite international lawyer too, and we just can't say that about most law books.  Grab a hot cup of tea, build a warm fire, and enjoy some time with a classic text on international law.

The ISBN number for the hardback edition is 978-0-19-965793-3.  The ISBN number for the paperback edition is 978-0-19-965794-0.  The publisher is Oxford University Press.

Mark E. Wojcik (mew)

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