Saturday, October 31, 2020

What Do You Look For in an International Law Casebook?

AALS LogoWhich of the following factors is important to you (as an international law professor) when you're selecting a casebook or other materials for your course in international law?

  • Academic and professional reputation of the casebook author(s)?
  • Comprehensive coverage of the precise topics you want to cover?
  • Thoughtful organization of the material?
  • Recently published or updated so it's current?
  • Supplement with treaties and statutes?
  • Teachers' manual?
  • Availability in your jurisdiction?
  • Reasonable cost for students?
  • Online supplemental exercises or learning tools?
  • Other factors?

At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the AALS Section on International Law will hold a special program for new international law professors on this very practical topic of how to pick a casebook. The speakers will not be themselves be authors of international law casebooks but professors who teach the course and have to select a casebook for their students.

The AALS Annual Meeting was to have been held in San Francisco in January 2021 but like many other national and international conferences it has gone virtual. A virtual makes it possible to invite presenters from across the United States and around the world.We welcome your thoughts in advance about what makes a casebook right for you. Please leave your comments in the comment box (and we'll publish those comments here unless you tell us not to in your comments).


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I think if you are going to use the textbook for LLM or for non-US students, you have to think about how America-centric the material is. Some textbooks are written as though the only international law that matters is what concerns the US, and the only cases that matter are US ones.
For example, I ran across one that lacked coverage of the International Criminal Court since the US isn't a member. That's a major drawback in my eyes.


Posted by: Marian Dent | Nov 1, 2020 11:59:56 AM

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