The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International

The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International

The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International

The Grammar of Criminal Law: American, Comparative, and International

Synopsis

The Grammar of Criminal Law is a 3-volume work that addresses the field of international and comparative criminal law, with its primary focus on the issues of international concern, ranging from genocide, to domestic efforts to combat terrorism, to torture, and to other international crimes. The first volume is devoted to foundational issues. The Grammar of Criminal Law is unique in its systematic emphasis on the relationship between language and legal theory; there is no comparable comparative study of legal language. Written in the spirit of Fletcher's classic Rethinking Criminal Law, this work is essential reading in the field of international and comparative law.

Excerpt

There has never been a more urgent time for serious jurisprudential and comparative reflection on terrorism, international violence, and war—not to mention the rights of civilians and suspects subjected to the widespread use of force in the name of national security. The problems are common to all of us—both in the so-called civilized countries of the West and, as it turns out, in countries of the Third World that have also experienced terrorist attacks in recent years. The standard doctrinaire responses of international lawyers, constitutional lawyers, and criminal lawyers will no longer do. We have entered uncharted territory and nothing short of sustained and systematic reflection on the issues will meet the needs of the time.

This book began as a sequel to Rethinking Criminal Law, but that book was written in relatively tranquil times before the great shockwaves of the last two decades. Rethinking was a comparative and jurisprudential work and received far more attention than I expected. Now there is an entire school of American and British scholars who write about the theory of criminal law. The English-language literature is among the best in the world. I am pleased that Rethinking remains part of that international conversation. Yet we are in need of a new species of literature that will focus primarily on the theoretical aspects of the war against terrorism and international criminal law.

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