Advancing a bold theory of the relevance of tort law in the fight against human rights abuses, celebrated US law professor George Fletcher here challenges the community of international lawyers to think again about how they can use the Alien Tort Statute. Beginning with an historical analysis Fletcher shows how tort and criminal law originally evolved to deal with similar problems, how tort came to be seen as primarily concerned with negligence and how the Alien Tort Statute has helped establish the importance of tort law in international cases. In a series of cases starting with Filartiga and culminating most recently in Sosa, Fletcher shows how torture cases led to the reawakening of the Alien Tort Statute, changing US law and giving legal practitioners a tool with which to assist victims of torture and other extreme human rights abuses. This leads to an examination of Agent Orange and the possible commission of war crimes in the course of its utilisation, and the theory of liability for aiding and abetting the US military and other military forces when they commit war crimes. The book concludes by looking at the cutting-edge cases in this area, particularly those involving liability for funding terrorism, and the remedies available, particularly the potential offered by the compensation chamber in the International Criminal Court.
In the updated, fourth edition of this classic text which has been translated into over a dozen languages, constitutional scholar and Columbia Law School professor E. Allan Farnsworth provides a clear explanation of the structure and function of the U.S. legal system in one handy reference. An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States, Fourth Edition is designed to be a general introduction to the structure and function of the legal system of the United States, and is especially useful for those readers who lack familiarity with fundamental establishments and practices. This text also gives the reader a clear understanding of how to research the law, the importance of case law versus statutes, and the difference between private and public law. It illustrates issues that may be confusing or troublesome and provides a solid general overview. It includes a new introduction by Steve Sheppard.
Law is at the heart of every society, protecting rights, imposing duties, and establishing a framework for the conduct of almost all social, political, and economic activity. Despite this, the law often seems a highly technical, perplexing mystery, with its antiquated and often impenetrable jargon, obsolete procedures, and endless stream of complex statutes and legislation. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks introduces the major branches of the law, describing what lawyers do, and how courts operate, and considers the philosophy of law and its pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality. In this second edition, Wacks locates the discipline in our contemporary world, considering the pressures of globalization and digitalisation and the nature of the law in our culture of threatened security and surveillance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.