CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Efrat on Transnational Litigation

Asif Efrat (Reichman University, Israel) has published Intolerant Justice: Conflict and Cooperation on Transnational Litigation (Oxford University Press, 2023). Here is a summary:

In a globalized world, national legal systems often face dilemmas of international cooperation: Should our citizens stand trial in foreign courts that do not meet our standards? Should we extradite offenders to countries with a poor human rights record? Should we enforce rulings issued by foreign judges whose values are different from our own? Intolerant Justice argues that ethnocentrism—the human tendency to divide the world into superior in-groups and inferior out-groups—fuels fear and mistrust of foreign justice and sparks domestic political controversies. Skeptics portray foreign legal systems as a danger and a threat to local values and interests. Others, however, seek to dispel these concerns, arguing that legal differences among countries should be respected. Such disagreements often make it harder to establish cooperation on litigation.

The book traces this dynamic in a range of fascinating cases, including the American hesitation to allow criminal trials of troops in the courts of NATO countries; the dilemma of extradition to China; the European wariness toward U.S. civil judgments; and the controversy over the prosecution of foreign terrorist fighters for ISIS. Despite the growing role of law and courts in international politics, Intolerant Justice suggests that cooperation among legal systems often meets resistance, but it also shows how this resistance can be overcome. These insights will speak to anyone who seeks to strengthen the rule of law and international collaboration in an era of increasing nationalism.

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