New Books in the Library – May

Faculty Publication


After the Natural Law: How the Classical Worldview Supports Our Modern Moral and Political Views

Hill, John L.
K460 .H55 2016


The “natural law” worldview developed over the course of almost two thousand years beginning with Plato and Aristotle and culminating with St. Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. This tradition holds that the world is ordered, intelligible and good, that there are objective moral truths which we can know and that human beings can achieve true happiness only by following our inborn nature, which draws us toward our own perfection. Most accounts of the natural law are based on a God-centered understanding of the world. After the Natural Law traces this tradition from Plato and Aristotle to Thomas Aquinas and then describes how and why modern philosophers such as Descartes, Locke and Hobbes began to chip away at this foundation. The book argues that natural law is a necessary foundation for our most important moral and political values – freedom, human rights, equality, responsibility and human dignity, among others. Without a theory of natural law, these values lose their coherence: we literally cannot make sense of them given the assumptions of modern philosophy.
Part I of the book traces the development of natural law theory from Plato and Aristotle through the crowning achievement of Thomas Aquinas. Part II explores how modern philosophers have systematically chipped away at the only coherent foundation for these values. As a result, our most important moral and political ideals today are incoherent. Modern political and moral thinkers have been led either to dilute the meaning of such terms as freedom or the moral good – or abandon these ideas altogether. Thus, modern philosophy and political thought are leading us either toward anarchy or totalitarianism.The conclusion, entitled “Why God Matters”, shows how even the philosophical assumptions of the natural law depend on a personal God.

More New Books


Adultery: Infidelity and the Law

Rhode, Deborah L.
KF9435 .R48 2016


At a time when legal and social prohibitions on sexual relationships are declining, Americans are still nearly unanimous in their condemnation of adultery. Over 90 percent disapprove of cheating on a spouse. In her comprehensive account of the legal and social consequences of infidelity, Deborah Rhode explores why. She exposes the harms that criminalizing adultery inflicts, and she makes a compelling case for repealing adultery laws and prohibitions on polygamy.

In the twenty-two states where adultery is technically illegal although widely practiced, it can lead to civil lawsuits, job termination, and loss of child custody. It is routinely used to threaten and tarnish public officials and undermine military careers. And running through the history of anti-adultery legislation is a double standard that has repeatedly punished women more severely than men. An unwritten law allowing a man to avoid conviction for killing his wife’s lover remained common well into the twentieth century. Murder under these circumstances was considered an act of understandable passion.

Adultery has been called the most creative of sins, and novelists and popular media have lavished attention on sexual infidelity. As a focus of serious study, however, adultery has received short shrift. Rhode combines a comprehensive account of the legal and social consequences of adultery with a forceful argument for halting the state’s policing of fidelity.

American Judicial Power: The State Court Perspective

Buenger, Michael L.
KF8736 .B84 2015


American Judicial Power: The State Court Perspective is a welcome addition to the breadth of studies on the American legal system and provides an accessible and highly illuminating overview of the state courts and their functions.

The study of America’s courts is overwhelmingly skewed toward the federal government, and therefore often overlooks state courts and their importance. Michael Buenger and Paul De Muniz fill this gap in the study of American constitutionalism, as they examine the wide and distinctive powers these courts exercise, and their role in administering the bulk of the nation’s justice system. This groundbreaking work covers many critical topics pertaining to the state courts, including: a comparison of the role of state and federal courts, the history of America’s state courts, the judicial selection processes utilized in the states, the unique roles assigned to state courts and the varying structure of those courts, the relationship between state judicial power and state legislative power, and the opportunities and challenges that are and will be facing the state courts.

With an insightful foreword from Sanford Levinson, this revolutionary book will be of interest to students, educators, and researchers in the fields of law, political science, and government. Constitutional law experts will also benefit from an analysis of the state courts and their powers.

Congress: Protecting Individual Rights

Fisher, Louis
KF4935 .F569 2016


When asked which branch of government protects citizens’ rights, we tend to think of the Supreme Court—stepping in to defend gay rights, for example, in the recent same-sex marriage case. But as constitutional scholar Louis Fisher reveals in his new book, this would be a mistake—and not just because a decision like the gay marriage ruling can be decided by the opinion of a single justice. Rather, we tend to judge the executive and judicial branches idealistically, while taking a more realistic view of the legislative, with its necessarily messier and more transparent workings. In Congress, Fisher highlights these biases as he measures the record of the three branches in protecting individual rights―and finds that Congress, far more than the president or the Supreme Court, has defended the rights of blacks, women, children, Native Americans, and religious liberty.

Controlling Capital: Public and Private Regulation of Financial Markets

K1066 .C66 2016


Controlling Capital examines three pressing issues in financial market regulation: the contested status of public regulation, the emergence of ‘culture’ as a proposed modality of market governance, and the renewed ascendancy of private regulation.

In the years immediately following the outbreak of crisis in financial markets, public regulation seemed almost to be attaining a position of command – the robustness and durability of which is explored here in respect of market conduct, European Union capital markets union, and US and EU competition policies. Subsequently there has been a softening of command and a return to public-private co-regulation, positioned within a narrative on culture. The potential and limits of culture as a regulatory resource are unpacked here in respect of occupational and organisational aspects, stakeholder connivance and wider political embeddedness. Lastly the book looks from both appreciative and critical perspectives at private regulation, through financial market associations, arbitration of disputes and, most controversially, market ‘policing’ by hedge funds.

Bringing together a distinguished group of international experts, this book will be a key text for all those concerned with issues arising at the intersection of financial markets, law, culture and governance.

Electronic Surveillance of Mobile Devices: Understanding the Mobile Ecosystem and Applicable Surveillance Law

Balkovich, Edward
KF5399 .B35 2015


Law enforcement agencies face major challenges surrounding law enforcement use of the user data collected through mobile phones and describes a prototype tool—the Mobile Information and Knowledge Ecosystem (MIKE)—that could help a wide range of stakeholders understand how information is shared within the mobile ecosystem and the legal protections that govern access to that information.

The European Convention on Human Rights: A Commentary

Schabas, William
KJC5132.A4195 .S328 2015


The European Convention on Human Rights: A Commentary is the first complete article-by-article commentary on the ECHR and its Protocols in English. This book provides an entry point for every part of the Convention: the substance of the rights, the workings of the Court, and the enforcement of its judgmnts. A separate chapter is devoted to each distinct provision or article of the Convention as well as to Protocols 1, 4, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 16, which have not been incorporated in the Convention itself and remain applicable to present law.

Each chapter contains: a short introduction placing the provision within the context of international human rights law more generally; a review of the drafting history or preparatory work of the provision; a discussion of the interpretation of the text and the legal issues, with references to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission on Human Rights; and a selective bibliography on the provision.

Through a thorough review of the ECHR this commentary is both exhaustive and concise. It is an accessible resource that is ideal for lawyers, students, journalists, and others with an interest in the world’s most successful human rights regime.

Human Rights Standards: Hegemony, Law, and Politics

Mutua, Makau
JC571 .M954 2016


How are human rights norms made, who makes them, and why? In “Human Rights Standards,” Makau Mutua traces the history of the human rights project and critically explores how the norms of the human rights movement have been created. Examining key texts and documents published since the inception of the human rights movement at the end of World War II, he crafts a bracing critique of these works from the hitherto underutilized perspective of the Global South. Attention is focused on the deficits of the international order and how that order, which is defined by multiple asymmetries, defines human rights in a manner that exhibits normative gaps and cultural biases. Mutua identifies areas of further norm development and concludes that norm-creating processes must be inclusive and participatory to garner legitimacy across various cleavages and divides. The result is the first truly comprehensive critical look at the making of human rights norms and standards and, as such, will be an invaluable resource for students, scholars, activists, and policymakers interested in this important topic.

Innovative Congressional Minimum Standards Preemption Statutes

Zimmerman, Joseph Francis
KF4600 .Z565 2016


Congress possesses broad regulatory powers, including the power of complete or partial preemption of state and local regulatory powers. Congress rarely enacted preemption statutes before the twentieth century, but since the 1960s such interventions have grown significantly in number, now totaling over seven hundred, and have transformed the nature of the American federal system. In “Innovative Congressional Minimum Standards Preemption Statutes,” Joseph F. Zimmerman provides the background and history of this critical transformation, classifying the forms these federal interventions have taken, with a focus on statutes dealing with such environmental issues as water and air quality, restoration of surface-mined areas, and still other areas that, collectively, have produced a revolution in relations between Congress and the states. Contrary to public perceptions of preemption being one-sided and heavy-handed, Zimmerman details the many variations present in these statutes that accommodate state and local interests, allowing for administrative and policy flexibility, and a generally cooperative relationship between states and localities and federal administrative agencies.

International Copyright and Access to Knowledge

Bannerman, Sara
K1420.5 .B36 2016


The principle of Access to Knowledge (A2K) has become a common reference point for a diverse set of agendas that all hope to realize technological and human potential by making knowledge more accessible. This book is a history of international copyright focused on principles of A2K and their proponents. Whilst debate and discussion so far has covered the perspectives of major western countries, the author’s fresh approach to the topic considers emerging countries and NGOs, who have fought for the principles of A2K that are now fundamental to the system. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book connects copyright history to current problems, issues and events.

The Jury in America: Triumph and Decline

Hale, Dennis
KF8972 .H2618 2016


The jury trial is one of the formative elements of American government, vitally important even when Americans were still colonial subjects of Great Britain. When the founding generation enshrined the jury in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they were not inventing something new, but protecting something old: one of the traditional and essential rights of all free men. Judgment by an “impartial jury” would henceforth put citizen panels at the very heart of the American legal order. And yet at the dawn of the 21st century, juries resolve just two percent of the nation’s legal cases and critics warn that the jury is “vanishing” from both the criminal and civil courts. The jury’s critics point to sensational jury trials like those in the O. J. Simpson and Menendez cases, and conclude that the disappearance of the jury is no great loss. The jury’s defenders, from journeyman trial lawyers to members of the Supreme Court, take a different view, warning that the disappearance of the jury trial would be a profound loss.

In The Jury in America, a work that deftly combines legal history, political analysis, and storytelling, Dennis Hale takes us to the very heart of this debate to show us what the American jury system was, what it has become, and what the changes in the jury system tell us about our common political and civic life.

The Persistent Objector Rule in International Law

Green, James A.
KZ3410 .G74 2016


The persistent objector rule is said to provide states with an ‘escape hatch’ from the otherwise universal binding force of customary international law. It provides that if a state persistently objects to a newly emerging norm of customary international law during the formation of that norm, then the objecting state is exempt from the norm once it crystallizes into law. The conceptual role of the rule may be interpreted as straightforward: to preserve the fundamentalist positivist notion that any norm of international law can only bind a state that has consented to be bound by it. In reality, however, numerous unanswered questions exist about the way that it works in practice.

Through focused analysis of state practice, this monograph provides a detailed understanding of how the rule emerged and operates, how it should be conceptualized, and what its implications are for the binding nature of customary international law. It argues that the persistent objector rule ultimately has an important role to play in the mixture of consent and consensus that underpins international law.

Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts

Lens, Vicki
KF390.5.P6 L46 2016


Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in the Courts provides a vivid portrait and appraisal of how the lives of poor people are disrupted or helped by the judicial system, from the lowest to the highest courts. Drawing from court room observations, court decisions, and other material, this book spans the street level justice of administrative hearings and lower courts (where people plead for welfare benefits or for a child not to be taken away), the mid-level justice of state courts (where advocates argue for the right to shelter for the homeless and for the rights of the mentally disabled), and the high justice of the Supreme Court (where the battle for school integration has represented a route out of poverty and the stop and frisk cases illustrate a route to greater poverty, through the mass incarceration of people of color). Poor Justice brings readers inside the courts, telling the story through the words and actions of the judges, lawyers, and ordinary people who populate it. It seeks to both edify and criticize. Readers will learn not only how courts work, but also how courts sometimes help – and often fail – the poor.

Religion and the American Constitutional Experiment

Witte, John
KF4783 .W58 2016


This accessible introduction tells the American story of religious liberty from its colonial beginnings to the latest Supreme Court cases. The authors provide extensive analysis of the formation of the First Amendment religion clauses and the plausible original intent or understanding of the founders. They describe the enduring principles of American religious freedom–liberty of conscience, free exercise of religion, religious equality, religious pluralism, separation of church and state, and no establishment of religion–as those principles were developed by the founders and applied by the Supreme Court. Successive chapters analyze the two hundred plus Supreme Court cases on religious freedom–on the free exercise of religion, the roles of government and religion in education, the place of religion in public life, and the interaction of religious organizations and the state. A final chapter shows how favorably American religious freedom compares with international human rights norms and European Court of Human Rights case law.

Lucid, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and balanced, this volume is an ideal classroom text and armchair paperback. Detailed appendices offer drafts of each of the religion clauses debated in 1788 and 1789, a table of all state constitutional laws on religious freedom, and a summary of every Supreme Court case on religious liberty from 1815 to 2015. Throughout the volume, the authors address frankly and fully the hot button issues of our day: religious freedom versus sexual liberty, freedom of conscience and its limitations, religious group rights and the worries about abuse, faith-based legal systems and their place in liberal democracies, and the fresh rise of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Christianity in America and abroad.

Remedies in International Human Rights Law

Shelton, Dinah
K3240 .S53 2015


The fully revised and updated Third Edition of Remedies in International Human Rights Law provides a comprehensive analysis of the law governing international and domestic remedies for human rights violations. It reviews and examines the texts and the jurisprudence on this key area of human rights law. It is an essential practical and theoretical resource for policymakers, scholars, and students negotiating and litigating issues of redress for victims.

The Third Edition incorporates the major developments in remedial human rights jurisprudence. Internationally, the United Nations and the International Criminal Court have issued reparations guidelines; the International Court of Justice has for the first time awarded compensation for human rights violations; the International Law Commission has considered the humanitarian responsibility of international organizations; and new international petition procedures and policies on redress have entered into force. Regionally, in Asia and Africa, human rights bodies have adopted new human rights accords and legal judgments; in Europe, the human rights case load unceasingly increases. Nationally, the jurisprudence of historical reparations has come to the fore, as has the juridical consideration of economic and social rights. All of these developments are analyzed in context and create a comprehensive and accessible portrait of the state of remedial human rights law today.

Women’s Rights and Religious Law: Domestic and International Perspectives

K644 .W64478 2016


The three Abrahamic faiths have dominated religious conversations for millennia but the relations between state and religion are in a constant state of flux. This relationship may be configured in a number of ways. Religious norms may be enforced by the state as part of a regime of personal law or, conversely, religious norms may be formally relegated to the private sphere but can be brought into the legal realm through the private acts of individuals. Enhanced recognition of religious tribunals or religious doctrines by civil courts may create a hybrid of these two models.

One of the major issues in the reconciliation of changing civic ideals with religious tenets is gender equality, and this is an ongoing challenge in both domestic and international affairs. Examining this conflict within the context of a range of issues including marriage and divorce, violence against women and children, and women’s political participation, this collection brings together a discussion of the Abrahamic religions to examine the role of religion in the struggle for women’s equality around the world. The book encompasses both theory and practical examples of how law can be used to negotiate between claims for gender equality and the right to religion. It engages with international and regional human rights norms and also national considerations within countries.

This book will be of great relevance to scholars and policy makers with an interest in law and religion, gender studies and human rights law.

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This entry was posted on June 3, 2016 by in Announcements and tagged , .

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