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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Excellent! Yet challenging for beginners, 11 Aug 2002
No doubt that this book is one of the most authoritative and orthodox textbooks in this field. With prolific cases and legal reasoning, this book offers a clear and profound understanding on "principles of international law," especially its Sources, Jurisdictions, and subjects, and basic theories thereof. A must have for those majoring in international law, I should say.
As for beginners, however, this book might seem quite challenging. A better-balanced structure would make Prof. Brownlie's book look all the more perfect; despite its overwhelming reasoning and theories, the book somewhat lacks in such topics as the ICC and law of war. For beginners who want to learn general aspects of international law, I would rather recommend Prof. Peter Malanczuk's "Akehurst's modern introduction of international law" or Prof. Malcolm Shaw's "International Law"
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5.0 out of 5 stars it was perfect, 8 Aug 2013
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The condition of this product was very good, even though it was a second hand book. I recommend this product for everybody who want to economise money.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of P.I.L., 7 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Ian Brownlie's Principles of Public International Law is certainly one of the standard textbooks on international law, and it deserves to be considered as one of the most highly reputed books in the field. How else would it already have been published in its fifth edition (the first edition was published 35 years ago, in 1966) and translated into Russian, Japanese and Portuguese? On more than 700 pages Professor Brownlie covers topics such as sources of international law, the relation between national and international law, subjects of international law, statehood and sovereignty, the law of the sea, jurisdiction and state responsibility to name but a few. As regards the contents of the book, its only disadvantage is that it hardly contains anything about the use of force and the United Nations. However, the topics that are covered are covered very well, and for those who do not find enough information, plenty of reference is made to judicial decisions or further literature in the footnotes.
Some teachers say the book is difficult to read but when I spent a year in England as an exchange student I did not find it too difficult to read even though I am not a native speaker. (There are, however, books which are easier to read, e.g. Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law.)
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best text on international law, 10 Aug 2010
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William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Principles of Public International Law (Paperback)
This book, by the late Sir Ian Brownlie, Chichele Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University 1980-99, is possibly the best text on international law. His chapters on war and peace are of special merit.

He observes, "The member States of the United Nations, or at least the majority, recognised the legality of wars of liberation in certain conditions."

Brownlie comments on NATO's 1999 attack on Yugoslavia: "There is a preliminary and major difficulty in classifying the action. This because the authenticity of the subsequent claims that the action had humanitarian motives is substantially undermined by the fact that, beginning in October 1998, the threats of force were linked directly to a collateral political agenda, that is, the acceptance by Yugoslavia of various political `demands' concerning the status of Kosovo, these `demands' being presented under threat of a massive bombing campaign. This background has been ignored by many commentators."

He points out, "The position in 1999, when the operations took place, was that there was little or no authority and little or no state practice to support the right of individual States to use force on humanitarian grounds in international law. ... State practice has been overwhelmingly hostile to the concept of intervention on such a selective and subjective basis. The weak legal position was recognised by the United Kingdom Government when it informed the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Commons of its aim of establishing in the United Nations `new principles governing humanitarian intervention'."

Brownlie notes, "It is difficult to bring forcible regime change within concept of self-defence or the principle of self-determination. ... the international consensus [is] that individual States, or a group of States, cannot resort to force (for purposes other than self-defence) except with the express authorization of the Security Council." The Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77 (actually 132 states) declared on 24 September 1999 that "They rejected the so-called right of humanitarian intervention, which has no basis in the United Nations Charter or international law."

Brownlie observes, "Since 1945 the practice of States generally has been opposed to anticipatory self-defence. The Israeli attack on an Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981 was strongly condemned as a `clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations' in Security Council Resolution 487 (1981) (adopted unanimously)."

He points out drily, "The Bush doctrine, published in 2002, claims a right of `pre-emptive action' against States who are seen as potential adversaries. This doctrine is applicable in the absence of any proof of an attack or even an imminent attack. This doctrine lacks a legal basis, but it does have an historical parallel, the attack on Serbia by Austria-Hungary in 1914."

Brownlie also criticises `the gross and persistent measures of discrimination and breaches of humanitarian law on the part of Israel against the Palestinian people and their institutions'.
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Principles of Public International Law
Principles of Public International Law by Ian Brownlie (Paperback - 7 Aug 2008)
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