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Who's Afraid of International Law?

Edited by Raimond Gaita and Gerry Simpson



Is there such a thing as an ‘international law’ of which to be afraid? Can international law be seen as a coherent set of norms? Or is it, rather, something experienced radically differently by different individuals and groups in different parts of the world? And what do the different sets of international law seek to change or justify today?

In Who’s Afraid of International Law? noted authorities in this field respond to Raimond Gaita’s invitation to explore ways in which international law constitutes a certain way of talking and being; one that might have both ameliorative and malign effects.
The result is an extended and rich conversation about international law’s aspirations and limitations, its nuances and rigidities, achievements and failures, relevance and irrelevance.

About the Editors

Raimond Gaita is Professorial Fellow in the Melbourne Law School and The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne and Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy at King's College London. His books, which have been widely translated, include: Good and Evil: An Absolute Conception, the award winning Romulus, My FatherA Common Humanity: Thinking About Love & Truth & Justice, A Sense for Humanity, and The Philosopher's Dog.

Gerry Simpson holds the Kenneth Bailey Chair of Law at Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne, where he is Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, and convener of The Global Justice Studio. He is a Visiting Professor of Public International Law at the London School of Economics, where he held a Chair until 2009, and is currently an AFP/Open Society Fellow (based in Tbilisi, Georgia).

Contributors and Contents
Raimond Gaita
Introduction: Who’s Afraid of International Law?
Gerry Simpson
1.   On Being Afraid of International Law
Gerry Simpson
2.   Changing the World: The Ethical Impulse of International Law
Sundhya Pahuja, Professor, Melbourne Law School. Director, Law and Development Research Programme, Institute for International Law and the Humanities, University of Melbourne.
3.   Who’s Afraid of the International Criminal Court
Tim McCormack, Professor of Law at the Melbourne Law School and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tasmania Law School
4.   Who’s Afraid of a Climate Treaty
Robyn Eckersley, Professor and Head of Political Science in the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.
5.   Remembering 1948:Who’s Afraid of International Legal History in the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict?
Catriona Drew teaches international law at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
6.   Why Rule of Law Promotion is too important to be left to Lawyers
Martin Krygier, Professor, Gordon Samuels Professor of Law and Social Theory and Co-Director - Network for Interdisciplinary Studies of Law, University of New South Wales.
7.   The Universality of International Criminal Law and the Idea of a Common Humanity
Raimond Gaita

Note: The first printing of this text contained some errors in the reference section of the chapter by Catriona Drew: ‘Remembering 1948: History and International Law in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’. These were corrected for subsequent printings.


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