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on 23 November 2010
This is the outstanding introduction to the world of human rights and war crimes. I need not add much here. Robertson is is obviously an International War Crimes Court insider and pro the application of international law. But he is no starry eyed idealist. His section on the UN's dreadful record on human rights is totally blunt. His description of Belgian, Ghanaian and Dutch UN troop involvement in actually facilitating the genocide of those they were protecting in Ruanda and Bosnia is heartbreaking. He accepts criticism that war crime prosecution may seem to be restricted to losers of wars, Yugoslavians and Africans. But what makes the book so uplifting is the movement to the world gradually accepting the actual ideas of human rights and war crimes.

Can I have a quibble? Robertson is damning of those of us who wrote to the war crimes court complaining about Britain's involvement in the 'War Against Terror'.Like most of those who protested, I did not try and say the war was illegal. The possible grounds for complaint to the court are there for all to read, and I protested on the grounds of treatment of prisoners, then being ferried through Scottish airports in unmarked CIA jets and, with our government's knowledge, being tortured. The reply from the court was very interesting. Did I really expect the court to arrest the leaders of the UK, one of the most powerful countries in the world? My answer was 'Yes' and that the court should give equal treatment to all. After all the European Court of Human Rights does not mollycoddle any of its members. Otherwise we would still have the tawse (cat of nine tails) in Scottish schools...
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on 18 September 1999
Robertson provides an erudite and provocative examination of the development of human rights theories and the haphazard attempts to secure them around the world. His message is simple: more needs to be done and part of that requires reform of the UN to make it more independent. He collates a variety of stories and policy failures that have a justified emotional impact on the reader, but his style remains objective and clear. This is a useful text for human rights activists but also students of political theory, ethics, and modern history. Highly recommendable.
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on 28 August 2016
Arrived in very poor condition, despite allegedly being brand new and in 'perfect condition'.
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on 23 July 2014
didn't really like the book
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on 7 April 2013
This book is a great way to be introduced to human rights and international law and undoubtedly also would be an engrossing read for people already familiar with the subject. In explaining the issues related to human rights law, Robertson covers a lot of ground regarding recent conflicts and geopolitical issues in general and almost everybody will be a better informed citizen after finishing this book. The book is an interesting format as it is an evolving piece and its obvious that newer events have required parts of the book to be rewritten compared to older editions but this is done seamlessly and in fact adds extra relevance to the reading.

There is a pattern throughout the book of moving from somewhat dry technical legal detail to highly engrossing descriptions of dictators, dirty money and war stories - but indeed the dry parts are needed to explain the more colorful parts and vice versa; points of law are given full and interesting examples.

This is not a history book, but reads more like a intellectual discussion of how international law can be applied. It has a very pragmatic tone, and there is a realism that leads you to respect the facts the book contains. The book ends in an optimistic tone and the reader left with a sense of having had your eyes opened and your previous perceptions of world governments challenged.
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on 21 July 2014
Fabulous book. Well written and gives a clear historical, political background to the developments of human rights. Key cases are discussed at some length and criticism given to the international law system too. Geoffrey Robertson is a QC who works within the human rights sphere. Don't get this on kindle(which I did first time round) there are too many pages (803) before 82 pages of notes. He updates the book every 4 years and this is the latest one(2012). It is perfect for the law course which I am currently studying.

Book arrived before the estimated date in very good condition.

Might be the very best law book that I have bought to date. Excellent.
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on 22 January 2002
I did a Diploma in International Relations which included International Law. I wish I had read this book to aid me in my Thesis on Human Rights.
The book is written well enough for anyone to pick it up and understand Human Rights Laws without a good understanding of law.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in International Human Rights, especially with the current violations of Human Rights across the globe.
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on 23 March 2013
Excellent book should be read by every citizen. It is shocking that so many States around the world kill it's citizens and get immunity from prosecution whilst in power. If this single rule of immunity whilst holding office was abolished perhaps fewer people would be killed.

An awesome read.
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on 21 August 2014
Fabulous book of over 800 pages(do not get it via a kindle) which was my first mistake. I felt that it was well worth getting the most recent update(he updates every 4 years). Geoffrey explains clearly the development of international law and in clear defined chapters explains both the legal and political factors that impact. I discovered this book by going through references in the back of another law book, and I am so very glad that I did.
I found the chapter on General Pinochet very helpful for an essay that I was writing.The political background was explained along with why the judgements were made and why there were 3 trials of Pinochet.
I shall read all of his books now.
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