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International Law 6th Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521728140
ISBN-10: 0521728142
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Malcolm Shaw's International Law has been an indispensable resource for students of international law since its first publication in 1977. It gives an accurate and well-balanced account of the development and current state of the law. In light of recent developments, the new chapters on international criminal law and the International Court of Justice are welcome. I warmly recommend Shaw to anyone studying international law at undergraduate or graduate level.' James Crawford, The Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge

'When I was teaching Shaw's International Law was my textbook of choice for the students. I continue today to find this book very useful and well organized. It is good news that a Sixth Edition guarantees that it remains thoroughly contemporary, with new chapters added and everything updated.' Dame Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice

'Shaw's treatise has been praised as being particularly well suited for 'novice' students of the field ... it is surprisingly user-friendly.' American Journal of International Law

'An outstanding treatise which I use regularly in the course of my work at the Court. It excels in precision, comprehensiveness and topicality. On many issues, like questions of territory, it has no equal in any language. And last but not least, it reads well.' Bruno Simma, Judge, International Court of Justice

Book Description

Engaging, authoritative and academically rigorous, this is the definitive international law textbook. Comprehensively updated content includes new chapters on international criminal law and the International Court of Justice, reflecting current trends in course coverage. The stimulating writing style motivates students to explore the subject, and encourages development of analytical thinking.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1708 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 6 edition (November 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521728142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521728140
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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My team used this extensively in order to come in second internationally at International Environmental Law Moot Court. It's well organized, complete, and points you in the direction of the right cases, articles and reference material.
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This is a dense but ultimately rewarding introduction to the subject matter. Shaw's prose is at best elliptical; it's very easy to lose the forest for the trees in this book, particular given Shaw's tendency to explain in exhaustive detail the procedural workings of the various international and regional organizations. Although it sometimes reads like a very, very long grocery list, it is an essential reference book for anyone hoping to learn about public international law. Overall, it's a very thorough introduction to the subject matter, and is much more accessible the second and third times through. Complemented by an excellent index and supplementary materials.
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This book is one of several "must have" while doing a serious investigation on international law. This is the best way to start. It covers most of the aspects of international law, from Sources of Law to Space Law and International Environmental Law.
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By W. Pelt on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
The remark about the Jay treaty convinced me. I immediately decided to buy this book; if an obvious typo (1974 instead of 1794) is the only objection that can made against this book, it must be great.
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the jay treaty was signed in 1794...it is easy to see how a mistake may be overlooked and the date of 1974 may creep into the text of such a voluminous work. In the light hereof I think the reader from Korea was unnecessarily harsh...editing mistakes are an everyday occurrence and the date was as easy as a search in yahoo to verify.
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The complexity of international law does not arise solely from the content of its statues but also from the legitimacy of its enforcement. The laws of cities, states, and nations are typically accompanied by a monopoly on how to enforce these laws. Their citizens have agreed to conform to these laws and their legitimacy as cities, states, and nations arises from this agreement. If citizens choose to violate these laws they are punished accordingly. But what entity oversees the punishment when laws between nations are violated? Such laws come under the umbrella of international law, the subject of this book, and their enforcement is only possible if the nations agree to this enforcement.

The question of enforcement usually arises in the context of the legitimacy of the use of force or acts of war between nations, and is dealt with in some detail in this book. But there are many other aspects of international law that are discussed, and some readers may want to deal with the sheer size of the book by selecting those areas they are most interested in. A study of international law has become essential in today's world, due in part to the many wars that have broken out, some of them definitely bearing the mark of aggression and "war crimes", but also because of trade and patent disputes, along with the availability of complex financial products that need to operate across borders.

The book is heavily referenced, satisfying those skeptical readers who need to delve into even more of the details. The author presents international law as a `separate system' of law, as one that is not merely an adjunct to the laws of two or more countries. There is no legislature, no system of courts, and no institution to establish legal rules.
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Format: Paperback
I. In my Junior year at University, I was required to purchase this book for a 300 level International Law class (which was considered introductory). My entire class dreaded this book, as did every student I spoke with who had taken this class prior to me. The form is absolutely awful, its drier than the Sahara, and sloppy at that. The fact that this is considered an introductory book to International Law frightens me.

II. Shaw's writing style seems to be contradictory with what every Writing 101 teacher would instruct you to do, "When possible, use simple words, and try to keep sentences short and concise". Shaw does not only abuse semicolons, he militantly does so. He often uses legal terminology as if it were common sense without explanation, and his use of obscure words to explain otherwise common ideas is aggravating.

Example: (This is a "full sentence" taken directly out of the book, what it means is still quite a mystery to me, but the book is rife with this type of language.)

"The traditional exposition of the criterion concentrated upon the stability and effectiveness needed for this factor to be satisfied, while the representative and democratic nature of the government has also been put forward as a requirement."

The statement in the Preface of the book actually made me laugh...

"The hallmark writing style provides a stimulating account, motivating students to explore the subject more fully, while maintaining detail and academic rigour." ( What a great excuse for not paying attention to your audience.)

III. I am wholeheartedly convinced that this entire book could be reduced a quarter of its weight if Shaw were to revise his sentence structure and cut out the bloat.
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