The Power and Purpose of International Law / Edition 1

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Overview

The world is going through another important transition. International institutions have unquestionably been weakened as the United States works to sort through complicated issues such as the Afghan and Iraq wars, the use of torture and secret detention, Guantanamo, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. In recent memory, top Bush Administration advisers have spoken and written about the powerlessness of international law and its irrelevance-or worse-for the United States. The worldwide public needs and deserves a more accurate account. In The Power and Purpose of International Law, Mary Ellen O'Connell provides such an account by explaining the purpose of international law and the powers of enforcement it has available to achieve its mission.

International law supports order in the world and the attainment of humanity's fundamental goals of peace, prosperity, respect for human rights, and protection of the natural environment. The author argues that these goals can best be realized through international law, which uniquely has the capacity to bind even a superpower. It is also through international law that competing powers and divergent cultures can reach consensus. By exploring the roots of international law, and by looking at specific events in its history, this book demonstrates the why and the how of international law and its enforcement. It directly confronts the claim that international law is "powerless" and that working within the framework of international law is useless or counter-productive. As the world moves forward and reexamines international norms and institutions, it is crucial that both leaders and their citizens understand the true power and purpose of international law, and why humanity has persistently accepted it as true law.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A lucid modern analysis of the perennial great question about international law: international it is, but is it law? That question recently has been pressed with acerbic pertinacity; Professor O'Connell answers with informed vigor."
--Stephen M. Schwebel, President of the International Court of Justice (1997-2000)

"Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell adds her fresh views and clear-eyed vision to the battle to have America take international law seriously. Concomitantly, her message points to the way a new administration in Washington could hope to have the world take America's leadership seriously."
--Thomas Franck, Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law Emeritus, New York University School of Law and co-author of The Law and Practice of the United Nations (OUP 2007)

"A brave, and sadly necessary, affirmation that the Rule of Law is an essential precondition for civilised life, even in nations whose leaders may think that they have no immediate need for it."
--Vaughn Lowe, Chichele Professor of Public International Law, All Souls College, Oxford University and author of International Law (OUP 2007)

From the Publisher
"A lucid modern analysis of the perennial great question about international law: international it is, but is it law? That question recently has been pressed with acerbic pertinacity; Professor O'Connell answers with informed vigor."
—Stephen M. Schwebel, President of the International Court of Justice (1997-2000)

"Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell adds her fresh views and clear-eyed vision to the battle to have America take international law seriously. Concomitantly, her message points to the way a new administration in Washington could hope to have the world take America's leadership seriously."
—Thomas Franck, Murry and Ida Becker Professor of Law Emeritus, New York University School of Law and co-author of The Law and Practice of the United Nations (OUP 2007)

"A brave, and sadly necessary, affirmation that the Rule of Law is an essential precondition for civilised life, even in nations whose leaders may think that they have no immediate need for it."
—Vaughn Lowe, Chichele Professor of Public International Law, All Souls College, Oxford University and author of International Law (OUP 2007)

"The Power and Purpose of International Law is a critical response to the dismissive attitude adopted by the Bush administration, neo-conservatives, and some US writers and scholars-such as Goldsmith as Posner-towards international law"
—Carlo Focarelli, University of Peruggia and LUISS University of Rome, Italy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195368949
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/26/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Ellen O'Connell holds the Robert and Marion Short Chair in Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School. She has studied, taught, and written about international law for over 25 years. Professor O'Connell received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, an LL.B. with first-class honors from Cambridge University, an MSc. in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and her B.A. in History from Northwestern University. Her previous publications include International Law and the Global War on Terrorism: Lectures for the University of Paris II (2007), International Dispute Resolution, Cases and Materials (2006), and Redefining Sovereignty: The Use of Force After the Cold War (edited with M. Bothe and N. Ronzitti, 2005).

Professor O'Connell has taught at such diverse institutions as the Notre Dame Law School, the US Department of Defense's George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies in Germany, Ohio State University College of Law, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Italy, the Oxford Institute on International and Comparative Law, Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany, and the University of Paris II (Paris, France). Her service to international law includes membership in numerous organizations, including the International Law Association as Chair of the Study Committee on Use of Force, the Executive Committee of the International Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools, the American Society of International Law (former member of the Executive Committee), the International Institute for Humanitarian Law (San Remo, Italy), the Lieber Society, and the German Society of International Law.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Part I. Enforcement Theory

Chapter One Classical Enforcement Theory
Chapter Two Compliance Theory
Chapter Three New Classical Enforcement Theory

Part. II. Enforcement Practice

Armed Measures
Chapter Four Unilateral Armed Measures
Chapter Five Collective Armed Measures

Countermeasures
Chapter Six Unilateral Countermeasures
Chapter Seven Collective Countermeasures

Judicial Measures
Chapter Eight International Court Enforcement
Chapter Nine National Court Enforcement

Conclusions

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