Thursday, February 9, 2012
"The world of law is a world of words." So says Stephen Michael Shepard, a professor of International Law, Environmental Law, and several other subjects at the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. Professor Shepard has lectured or presented in China, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Sweden. But for the past six or seven years (at least), he's been busy working as the general editor of a new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary, recently published by Wolters Kluwer.
The new work brings back to life the American law dictionary first published in 1839 by John Bouvier. I'm not a Bouvier scholar by any means, but I can at least let you read part of the wikipedia entry about John Bouvier so that you can appreciate the importance of this law dictionary:
John Bouvier (1787–1851) was born in Codogno, France, but came to the United States at an early age. He became a U.S. citizen in 1812, was admitted to the bar in 1818, and began practicing law in Philadelphia. During his years of practice and study, he noticed the lack of a solid American law dictionary. He decided to fill this need, and worked on a new law dictionary incessantly for 10 years. One of his main goals was to distinguish American law from its Englishantecedent. He finally presented it for publication in 1839. Like many of his generation, Bouvier used his preface to justify his work, stating the irrelevance of English legal dictionaries to the American legal system of the United States. He wanted to create a totally new law dictionary that would address the American legal system, so he derived his definitions almost wholly from customs, court decisions, and statutes of the United States.
So that's the book that Professor Sheppard has now updated. The Bouvier Law Dictionary was the one used by Daniel Webster, Abraham Lincoln, John Marshall, Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, and all of the other great early American jurists and lawyers.
This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary was well received at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, where Professor Sheppard kindly signed a copy for me. Actually the new dictionary is being published in three versions, a desk edition, the compact paperback version, and an electronic version.
John Bouvier drew on material for his first dictionary from all of the sources that influenced American law. This new edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary "is an entirely new book, with new definitions for every term, based on quotations and entries from tens of thousands of new cases, books, and statutes, as well as on Bouvier's final text and other classic materials." (Preface, at page ix). I had to laugh at Professor Sheppard's acknowledgment page, where he thanked his student research assistants by saying that his "sincere thanks go to each of you, and I remind all of you who haven't returned some of my books that is never too late to do so."
The dictionary entries are easy to read and often provide a little more information about particular legal terms than you might find in other dictionaries. We will still use our other law dictionaries, but we now have a second source that we'll also consult.
The ISBN Number for the Compact Paperback Edition of the Bouvier Law Dictionary is 978-0-7355-6852-5.
Mark E. Wojcik (mew)
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Louise Doswald-Beck, Professor of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Switzerland, has published a new book on Human Rights in Times of Conflict and Terrorism (Oxford University Press 2011).
The book is a guide to international human rights and humanitarian law as applied to situations of armed conflict, counter-terrorism measures, and other violent situations that endanger fundamental human rights (such as as the right to life, prohibitions on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and other fundamental rights). Professor Doswald-Beck was previously a legal adviser at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and became Head of the Legal Division in 1998. She brings her knowledge and experience from her work at ICRC in a highly practical text on a difficult legal and political issue.
The book begins by reviewing the "Overarching Elements" such as the application of human rights law during both peace and armed conflict, the international law instruments that create obligations to ensure and implement human rights, the right to a remedy for violations of rights, and the regime of limitations and derogations. Her treatment of the subject is scholarly, thorough, and impressive. It focuses deeply on the substantive law and assumes a basic understanding of the procedures of human rights bodies. There are extensive citations to decisions of human rights tribunals and to primary source documents.
The second part of her book deals with "Absolute Prohibitions" including: the prohibition of the arbitrary deprivation of life; the prohibition on the use of torture, inhuman, or degrading treatment; and the prohibition of enforced disappearances. That is followed by parts on "Fundamental Requirements of Due Process," "Limitations to Freedoms," and "Protection of Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Populations."
This book (at 550 pages) would be a useful reference work for any human rights collection. It would be a good practitioner guide and would also be an excellent textbook for a graduate course in international human rights law. And although this book focuses on the application of human rights law in times of violence, it also shows how human rights are to be protected at all times. This book is a direct response to the damage done to human rights and international law over the last decade in the name of combatting terrorism and protecting national security.
Mark E. Wojcik
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Carolina Academic Press seems to be the only major legal publisher in the United States that keeps its law school textbooks reasonably priced. (OK, I am probably biased because they published one of my books, but that's the one of the main reasons that I picked them as a publisher.) Carolina Academic Press is also aren't afraid to branch out into new courses not covered by other publishers. We have a new example of that here with a new law school textbook on U.S. Customs law, authored by Damon Pike and Larry Friedman, two customs attorneys (both of whom, like me, were former law clerks at the U.S. Court of International Trade). The subject is not yet taught at most U.S. law schools, in part because there hasn't been a book for professors to use. Here's a description of this new customs law book from the Carolina Academic Press website:
As the world’s largest economy, the Unites States imports and exports more merchandise than any other country. Customs Law covers the “nuts and bolts” of laws administered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), the agency charged with regulating imports into the U.S. and collecting duties, import fees, and related taxes. Those laws and regulations center on the tariff classification of merchandise under the Harmonized System (as set forth in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S.), the valuation of goods under the GATT (now WTO) Valuation Agreement, and the rules (both preferential and non-preferential) for determining “country of origin.” The book also covers the entry and recordkeeping process for imports, intellectual property protection, CBP’s penalty regime, the use of preferential trade programs (specifically examining the North American Free Trade Agreement and its attendant Rules of Origin and Regional Value Content calculations), marking requirements, and the relationship of income tax transfer pricing rules in determining how inter-company pricing impacts declared customs values and, thus, global corporate income taxes. The system of judicial review by the U.S. Court of International Trade and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is also covered. Finally, the book summarizes the requirements of 47 other federal agencies that CBP is charged with administering and enforcing with respect to imported merchandise.
Although this book was designed as a law school text, it is likely a useful title for customs and international trade attorneys to have (and not just attorneys in the United States). And while other legal publishers have gone through the roof on pricing their books, this one is only $95.00 (and you can get a 10% discount off of that by going directly to the Carolina Academic Press website to order a copy). And if you're doing any last minute cyber shopping, this is likely a good text to recommend to customs brokers and CBP import specialists too!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I am happy to see the James Crawford (University of Cambridge) and Martti Koskenniemi (University of Helsinki) are preparing "The Cambridge Companion to International Law." Publication is expected in February 2012. It is expected to come in at 300 pages with a list price of only $45.00. That's my kind of book. There is an impressive list of contributing authors as well.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
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)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The British Institute of International and Comparative Law has a new book on careers in international law, authored by Professors Christopher Waters (Associate Dean at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law, Canada) and Anneke Smit (a visiting professor at Windsor, previously at the University of Reading and legal counsel of the Canadian Department of Justice). A Guide to International Law Careers is a book that students will devour. At 53 pages for the main text (plus some helpful appendices), the book is an easy read with clearly written, targeted advice for students who want to "do something" with the international law they've learned in the classroom.
The format of the book is as good as its substantive content. It is organized around common questions that students will have about entering the field of international law and it is sprinkled with additional advice from various "real world" practitioners of international law.
The informative appendices cover three areas of particular interest to students:
- internships with international organizations, courts, and non-governmental organizations;
- short courses in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Commonwealth, and other countries around the world; and
- masters' courses in international law around the world.
I'm in complete agreement with Robert McCorquodale, who wrote that this book is "a wonderful resource for all those who are thinking about a career (or career change) in international law, for those who are passionate about international law and for those who want to change the world."
For more information about how to order a copy of the book, click here.
Hat tip to Christopher Waters, who sent me a copy of the book.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Carolina Academic Press, one of our favorite publishers (because of the high quality and still affordable prices for their books) has just released French Constitutional Law: Cases and Materials by Martin A. Rogoff. Here's a blurb about the book from their website:
French Constitutional Lawincludes extracts from decisions of the Constitutional Council and Council of State, significant laws, important reports, and a variety of French legal writings (many translated into English for the first time). These materials are accompanied by commentary, notes, and readings from secondary sources, including a generous sampling of extracts from historical and philosophical texts, to permit an understanding of the French constitutional system in context. The aim of the book is to present French constitutional law from a French perspective—to understand how the French think about constitutional law and its practice. Dynamics of constitutional evolution in France are stressed, and special attention is devoted to the extensive and significant constitutional amendments of July 2008. The book deals in depth with the following matters: separation of powers and the structure and functioning of government, the evolution and practice of judicial review by the Constitutional Council, the role of the Council of State in the French constitutional system, sources of French constitutional law and their interpretation, the Republican tradition (liberty and human rights, democracy and national sovereignty, secularism, equality, social solidarity, and the indivisibility of the Republic), and the application of supranational law (international law, European Union law, and European human rights law) in the French constitutional system. This book is well suited for use in law school, as the materials are structured to provide the basis for class discussion of legal issues. It is also well suited for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in French, European, or comparative politics or history.
Hat tip to Malick Ghachem (University of Maine School of Law)
And hey, if you're still reading this post you must be interested in France. Click here for information about an interdisciplinary conference next year (and an upcoming deadline for the call for proposals)
Monday, December 13, 2010
One of the best and most authoritative guides to law and legal developments is The China Law Deskbook, published by the American Bar Association Section of International Law. The book has now been published in a third edition. As with the earlier editions, the book has earned its name as a deskbook -- it is an essential reference guide that you will want to keep near you if you do any work with the People's Republic of China. The author is James Zimmerman, a China law expert.
The book covers significant legal developments adopted by the Chinese government in a number of areas including the new Chinese tort law, property rights law, anti-monopoly law, labor contract law, enterprise income tax law, enterprise bankruptcy law, and other laws that impact foreign investment and trade with China.
The book has grown in size and this third edition is now in two volumes. The set is organized by broad topic categories, including:
- Corporate organizational structure
- Industry-specific regulatory matters
- Tax issues
- Labor and employment
- Financial regulation
- Liquidation and bankruptcy
- Customs and the importation process
- Intellectual property protection
- Land use
- Protection of the environment and natural resources
- Mediation and arbitration
- Special rules for zones and administrative regions
Click here for information on how to order a copy for you or your law library from the American Bar Association.
Friday, September 10, 2010
A new brochure from Foundation Press tells me that there's a new supplement availalbe for "The International Legal System" by Mary Ellen O'Connell (Notre Dame), Richard F. Scott (Thomas Jefferson), and Naomi Roht-Arriaza (Hastings College of Law).
The supplement is 1,137 pages long. Wow.
Contact Foundation Press for more information. The ISBN is 978-1-59941-184-2.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
From time to time we receive news of new books that may be of possible interest to some of our blog readers. In that longstanding tradition, Solon Solomon has sent us news of his new book, "The Justiciability of International Disputes: The Advisory Opinion on Israel's Security Fence as a Case Study"
The book is a revision of thesis written at Hebrew University under the tutoring of Professor Yuval Shany, The prologue is authored by the Legal Advisor of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee. Click here to download a flyer with more information about the book. Download Israel Fence.
We have not yet seen the book (although we probably will at some point), so we cannot tell you one way or another anything more about it, but if your research interests include the ICJ's Advisory Opinion on the Fence there is probably some useful information in this book for you.
Hat tip to Solon Solomon.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Professor William B.T. Mock, Jr. of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago (pictured at left) and his Italian colleague, Professor Gianmario Demurro of the University of Cagliari Faculty of Law (pictured at right) have just published an important new book called Human Rights in Europe: Commentary on the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The book is published by Carolina Academic Press.
The book tracks the Charter of Fundamental Rights in its parts and divisions. The book is divided into chapters on Dignity, Freedoms, Equality, Solidarity, Citizens' Rights, Justice, and General Provisions. Each of those chapters has commentary on individual articles of the Charter.
The book is extremely well written and provides researchers with a wealth of information and commentary. It originated as a scholarly volume in Italian, called L'Europa dei Diritti: Commento all Carta dei diritta fondamentali del l'Unione Europea. This new, English-language version makes available to more researchers and policymakers the scholars' important observations on human rights in Europe. The book has an added benefit of introducing significant civil and constitutional law issues to comparative law scholars around the world.
This book is an important resource for any human rights researcher. I also especially like its price -- the publisher has priced it at a very affordable $45.00 (and the publisher's website will even give you 10% off of that). The book is 398 pages long. Click here for more information.
If you happen to be in Chicago, there will be a book signing at The John Marshall Law School on Tuesday, April 6, 2010.
P.S. Happy Birthday to Keith Sipe at Carolina Academic Press!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Books We Like: Stuart Deming is About to Give Us a New Edition of "The Foreign Corrupt Pactices Act and the New International Norms"
Stuart Deming is one of the country's leading experts on the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act. He's now just about to publish a new edition of his excellent treatise on the FCPA. Practitioners, in-house counsel, and compliance officials will benefit from this updated and expanded Second Edition, which includes:
- Critical updates reflecting the latest developments in the FCPA
- A broader and more in-depth analysis of the FCPA, including acts that relate directly to Sarbanes-Oxley
- More than 1,000 endnotes citing source materials and useful insights for practitioners (now who wouldn't like to curl up with a nice bunch of endnotes?!)
- More samples of compliance materials (including policies, certifications, and contract language)
- A detailed analysis of the debarment practices associated with the anti-corruption policies of the World Bank.
The book is expected to be available on January 15, 2010. (I know that will disappoint many people who may have wanted to give this as a present for the holidays, but that's how it goes friends! You could hold off and give it as a Valentine's Day present I suppose . . . .) OK, forgive that, but do click here for more information about the book (including how to pre-order it. Discounts are available for members of the ABA Section of International Law.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
We haven't seen the book itself yet, but the advertising card looks interesting. Aspen Publishers has a new book by Chibli Mallat (University of Utah and St. Joseph's University, Lebanon) on "Iraq -- Guide to Law and Policy." It's 500 pages long and is promoted as a complement for courses on constitutional, international, or comparative law. That seems a bit long to me to really be useful as a supplement, but perhaps the publication of the book will prompt some law schools to offer a seminar course on the subject. The ISBN number is 978-0-7355-8484-6, and you can click here to visit the website for the publisher. The book examines "the success and failures of the law and policy implemented since the 2003 change of regime in Iraq."
Monday, September 14, 2009
The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) has published the 2009-2010 edition of its highly respected “A GLOBAL AGENDA: Issues Before the United Nations.” The topics in this new edition tackle climate change, international security, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and development aid, human rights, international justice and UN reform. The book is now available online at Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon, and Powell’s Books.
It sells for $20 but you probably can find it for a couple of bucks cheaper online.
Here's the information:
A Global Agenda: Issues Before the United Nations 2009-2010
Publisher: United Nations Association of the USA
This is a useful reference tool for anyone interested in the United Nations and the upcoming new session.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It's not an international law text, but it may nonetheless be of interest to some of our blog readers. Here's a link with information about the new second edition of Illinois Legal Research, published by Carolina Academic Press. The link also has information on state-specific research guides for other U.S. states.
Law professors who teach legal writing and research can order a free review copy of the book. If you're not a professor but want to order the book, the Carolina Academic Press website is now offering a discount on the book (which is very reasonably priced by the way, unlike the international law text we discussed here in an earlier post).
Friday, June 19, 2009
Introduction to Legal English -- A New Edition of a Book for Lawyers and Law Students Who Speak English as a Second Language
The International Law Institute of Washington D.C. has just published the third edition of Introduction to Legal English. The book is designed for lawyers and law students who speak English as a second language. Click here for more information. The first edition of this book was the first of its kind to appear in the United States with a specific focus on Legal English. It can be used in courses or for individual study.