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Mirages of International Justice

The Elusive Pursuit of a Transnational Legal Order Matthew Parish, Gentium Law Group Sàrl, Geneva, Switzerland
Since the end of the Cold War there has been an explosion of international courts and tribunals that sit apart from domestic legal systems, yet they are often woefully inadequate for their stated purposes. This book explores common problems across these courts, and applies a constructivist theory of international relations to explain their operation.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £83.00 Web: £74.70
Publication Date: 2011
ISBN: 978 1 84980 408 0
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: £28.00 Web: £22.40
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 0 85793 116 0
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Human Rights
  • Public International Law
  • International Economic Law, Trade Law
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Human Rights
  • International Politics
Since the end of the Cold War there has been an explosion of international courts and tribunals that sit apart from domestic legal systems, yet they are often woefully inadequate for their stated purposes. This book explores common problems across these courts, and applies a constructivist theory of international relations to explain their operation.

Often established by states as signals of their commitment to moral values and political ideology, once created these courts find themselves trapped between the interests of the Great Powers. Some endure irrelevance, their judgements ignored. Yet more are unusably slow. Still others exhibit demonstrable political bias. Their common failings suggest that international law is not nearly as robust as it claims. The author skilfully shows that international courts are a species of international organisation, and share the same challenges of bureaucracy and unaccountability as have plagued the United Nations.

Mirages of International Justice will be of particular interest to scholars and practitioners interested in critiques of the European Court of Human Rights, the World Trade Organisation, investment treaty arbitration, the EU courts, the international criminal courts, the International Court of Justice and public international law in general. Students of international relations and advocates for reform of international organisations will also learn much from this insightful study.
‘This is an excellent book. Matthew Parish is an impressively qualified lawyer. . . it is perhaps only someone with such a background who could write a book as insightful and intelligent about international law and the international organisations who purport to administer it.’
– Troy Anderson, Law Society Journal

‘This is a book of unusual power and insight. Parish’s deconstruction of the illusory promise of international justice may make uneasy reading but it is a necessary addition to the literature in this field.’
– David Chandler, University of Westminster, UK and Editor of the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding

‘This book issues the latest blast against the crumbling battlements of the cloud-fortress of international law. Meticulous, engaging, and forcefully written, the book offers little consolation for defenders amid the ruins.’
– Eric Posner, University of Chicago Law School, US
Contents: Preface 1. Mirages 2. International Law: The Legacy of the Twentieth Century 3. Irrelevant Courts for Important Disputes 4. International Criminal Law: Victors’ Justice or an Interminable Machine? 5. Protecting Foreign Capital Flows: Who Released the Genie? 6. Self-spite in the Regulation of International Trade 7. The Arid Promises of International Human Rights 8. The Allure of Judicial Trusteeship in the European Union Experience 9. The Future of an Illusion Index