In This Issue – Reviews

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In this issue, we have something for everyone to inform your reading in the six reviews of recent books.

We begin with two books that address the law of the sea, but they do so from very different angles. Douglas Guilfoyle reviews Ian Urbina’s ‘vivid and often confronting’ book, The Outlaw Ocean, a book which seems possible to read through different lenses, including those of the activist scholar and practising lawyer. While observing that of course law is ‘complicit in creating structures that facilitate exploitation and abuse’, Guilfoyle notes that this book is read not ‘for legal analysis but to bear witness to a reality concealed from those who live their lives ashore’, a reality which includes inhuman hours, dangerous conditions, unhealthy environments, violence, and exploitation. In comparison, the second law of the sea book takes us back to the more predictable shores of the specialized genre of legal academic writing. Lorenzo Palestini’s La protection des intérêts juridiques de l’État tiers dans le procès de délimitation maritime seeks to doctrinally examine in detail the place of third states in maritime delimitation processes. Massimo Lando reviews this French language text, noting its usefulness for practitioners as a systematization of an unpredictable jurisprudence.

Two books focusing on the history of international law make up the middle part of this review section.  First is Jochen von Bernstorff’s review of Ntina Tzouvala’s ‘original contribution’, Capitalism as Civilization. The book, he notes,provides us with a critical re-description of the concept of civilization in international legal discourse across time informed by Marxist, postcolonial and feminist theories’. Miloš Vec reviews a volume edited by Marcus M. Payk and Kim Christian Priemel, Crafting the International Order, which carefully sketches the role of practitioners in the making of international law. The review faithfully sketches in turn each of the chapters, but also notes what is missing from the volume, such as the stories of female practitioners.

Two further reviews complete the section. Dana Schmalz finds Liv Feijen’s account of The Evolution of Humanitarian Protection in European Law and Practice a ‘highly informative read’, but would have preferred a fuller engagement with the complex notion of ‘the humanitarian’, which remains rather too ‘vague’ for her taste. Richard Gaskins’ work on The Congo Trials in the International Criminal Court is the final book under review. Raphael Oidtmann situates both the book and the trials, applauding the consideration Gaskins gives to Ituri, the locus of many of the crimes before the ICC, which is often neglected in scholarship on the trials.

Happy reading!

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