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Lawless World [Paperback]

Philippe Sands
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Feb 2005
An explosive boom that argues that recent American actions around the world pose a decise threat to the international systems of lega order developed since WW2. America is undermining the global legal order by promoting its ecnomic interests at the expense of human rights and the enviroment. Based on his participation in leading international cases including the British detainees at Guantanamo, Pinochet's case at the House of Lords and intergovernmental negotiations on global warming and the ICC, Philippe Sands contends that globalisation witll only be seen as legitimate if it is founded on a rules based system which constrains excessive unilaterialism and balances social and economic objectives.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; New edition edition (24 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713997923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713997927
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 847,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
Although international law has a long history, it is only in recent years that it has emerged as a more regular feature of modern political life. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a book that will last. Very readable. 9 Mar 2005
By A Customer
~Half way through the book, I asked myself: am I reading a politics book or a law book? This book covers the headline international political events as well as the fundamental international law issues behind them: the Iraq war, the war on terrorism, global warming, establishment of the International Criminal Court, the WTO versus the environment and other public interests, and the safety of international investment. It is an obviously sophisticated political commentary, empowered by legal~~ analysis. The legal issues are wonderfully illustrated in parallel with the development of the political drama, sometimes ending with the scream of law, usually in anger and pain at being stamped upon. It is also a very good law book exquisitely and accurately depicting the making, breaching and arguing of international law. This book has managed to give life to international law and give a rationale to politics.
The title of the book is supposed to highlight America. I was impressed with~~ the honesty and fairness of the author, who never hesitates to give America the credit it deserves. Not only was Roosevelt's contribution to international law and the new international order discussed, but also less well known facts, such as Nixon's contribution to international environmental protection and the Clinton administration's push to set up the International Criminal Court, are told in a non-partisan manner. Equally, Philippe Sands did not show any mercy in pointing out where and how~~ America has breached and damaged international law. While reading the book, I almost forgot it was focused on America, mainly because the topics covered in the book are of such concern and influence to all of us, whichever nation we belong to. The book is really an updated international law and political overview.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars International Law - A Must Read! 25 April 2006
Books about the workings of International Law are probably not on everyone's 'Must Read' lists.

In Lawless World however, Philippe Sands does a great job of highlighting the relevance and importance of international law in todays modern world. Apart from the headline grabing chapters of the Iraq War and Guantanamo Bay (both excellently presented but not overwhelming) he also introduces the reader to the history of international law, the part it has played in the past (Pinochet) and the role it will continue to play in the future (environment, terrorism, etc).

For example, The 'Kicking Ass in Iraq' chapter details the US and UK Governments role in committing their nations to war and the role in particular of the Attorney General. Throughout the book (but particularly so in this chapter) the reader will be amazed at the audacity of the main protaganists and their ability to complete dismiss or ignore established rules and laws to their own end.

Overall a throughly worthwhile and interesting read which really makes you think about the people we put our faith in.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Style of the book 7 Mar 2005
By A Customer
~For those who are interested in international practice, this book is a must read. As a professor and barrister, the author interweaves his first hand practice experience with the most concerned topics in international law, providing a rare opportunity for readers to share his insider perspective.
Never before had an international law book been written in such an accessible way. You should not be surprised if a taxi driver discusses this book with you.
I do not know if the author~~ swears at injustice (he must have, I suppose), but you certainly would not find it in the book. At the most indignant moment, the author simply says American is unbounded. The author is trying to narrate and comment as objectively as possible.
I always like Penguin's paper back book. They are convenient and pleasant to hold. This book is one of them.~
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Decline of International Law 17 Mar 2006
The wide disparity in the reviews for this book are intriguing.
(One cannot help but wonder at the motivations of some reviewers!)
However, I for one, am quite convinced. Here is a highly informative, depressingly accurate account of the increasingly murky world of international law.
Phillipe Sands presents a powerful analysis of the miserable decline in standards and behaviour to the depths that we see daily of the most powerful nations colluding to undermine the flimsy network of law created over the centuries. Re-writing rules for their own blatant interests; heedless,time after time, of the condition and welfare of others!
This powerful text could be better presented, more clearly constructed - but it does contain such a wealth of fact and background, and it is highly readable for the non-legal mind.
A well-thumbed copy should be on every thinking person's book shelves.
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