04 September 2005

New Books

Some recently published books. Most of these were reviewed in the June, July and August 2005 issues of The Law & Politics Book Review or notified on OUP’s website. I loved the LPBR site and will be adopting a permanent link in the sidebar as well as informing you regularly of their reviews in the field of comparative law.

A few books in the broad category of General Comparative Law & Methodology:

COMPARATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL REVIEW: CASES AND MATERIALS, by Michael Louis Corrado. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2004. ISBN: 0-89089-710-7. (Recommended as a good selection of materials by Reviewer Hootan Shambayati)

CORE QUESTIONS OF COMPARATIVE LAW, by Bernhard Grossfeld (translated by Vivian Grosswald Curran). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2004. ISBN 0-89089-737-9. (Reviewed by Susan M. Sterett)

JUDICIAL DELIBERATIONS. A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF JUDICIAL TRANSPARENCY AND LEGITIMACY, by Mitchel Lasser. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0199274126 (For which the August 2005 issue of the Common Market Law Review has a witty, clever and inspiring review by ... me. Seriously now: it - the book, that is - is very impressive. Go read.)

MIXED LEGAL SYSTEMS IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE. Property and Obligations in Scotland and South Africa, Edited by Reinhard Zimmermann, Kenneth Reid and Daniel Visser. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005 (From the OUP website)

Two recommended introductions / overviews of individual systems:

AMERICAN LAW IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT, by George P. Fletcher and Steve Sheppard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-516723-6. (Recommended and reviewed by Kirk A. Randazzo)

THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, by Vernon Bogdanor (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN: 0197263194 (Strongly recommended by Thom Brooks, University of Newcastle)

And a few books that I thought could be grouped together under the heading of law, courts and contexts of wider (post)-conflict political and institutional stress:

RIGHTS BEFORE COURTS: A STUDY OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS IN POSTCOMMUNIST STATES OF CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE, by Wojciech Sadurski. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2005. ISBN: 1-4020-3006-1 (Reviewed enthusiastically by Lynn M. Maurer)

COURTS UNDER CONSTRAINTS. JUDGES, GENERALS, AND PRESIDENTS IN ARGENTINA, by Gretchen Helmke. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. ISBN: 0521820596 (Defending a notion of ‘strategic defection’, purporting to explain why it would be rational for non-independent judges to occasionally rule against their governments. Insightfully reviewed by Javier A. Couso)

ADDED 7/9, 10:30 am: LAW AFTER AUSCHWITZ: TOWARDS A JURISPRUDENCE OF THE HOLOCAUST, by David Fraser. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2005. ISBN: 0-89089-243-1 (Reviewed by Thérèse O’Donnell)

DARKER LEGACIES OF LAW IN EUROPE: THE SHADOW OF NATIONAL SOCIALISM AND FASCISM OVER EUROPE AND ITS LEGAL TRADITIONS, by Christian Joerges and Navraj Singh Ghaleigh (eds). Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2003. ISBN: 1-84113-310-8.

With regard to this last book, Shannon Smithey (Westminster College) in her Review calls attention to a stimulating chapter by Vivian Curran on “Formalism and Anti-formalism in French and German Judicial Methodology”. She writes: “Fascist judges’ tendency to apply positive law formalistically, despite manifest injustices, has left judicial positivism with a negative reputation. But, Curran argues, legal formalism was not to blame for the actions of fascist judges in Germany and France. Curran documents differences in French and German judicial “methodology,” and contends that, “we will not be able to identify the responsible culprit for fascist-era injustice in France or Germany in the methodological distinctions that separate positivism from anti-positivism, or formalism from anti-formalism. The driving force behind court decisions in both Germany and France was political ideology” (p.225)". I liked Curran’s paper on “Re-membering Law” (see an earlier post); looking forward to reading this!

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