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Grotian Moments and Accelerated Formation of Customary International Law
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Scharf , Paperback. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Identifiers Publisher. Additional Product Features Dewey Edition.
Readers will debate Scharf's thesis and how he applies to his six case studies for years to come. What is not debatable is that his book is a significant contribution to explaining how custom emerges and changes. With it, Scharf becomes a "custom pioneer" of a different kind than the states and institutions that he addresses.
Alvarez, Herbert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law, New York University School of Law; co-editor in chief, American Journal of International Law, "Professor Scharf examines the concept of the 'Grotian Moment', providing a critical yet thought-provoking analysis of the instances in which customary international law can, and indeed does, develop with surprising rapidity and limited state practice.
Professor Scharf 's contribution is widely set to leave its mark, as acknowledged by the authoritative list of names endorsing the book.
By focusing on six moments when customary international law may have undergone fundamental change in a short period of time, Michael Scharf has performed a real service to the international community.
It is clearly and engagingly written as anyone familiar with Scharf's previous work would expect. The research underpinning it is similarly faultless. Moreover, it is short and to the point: its arguments are both concisely made and precisely targeted.
This book is ultimately an extremely important addition to the literature.
Its thesis is at the same time indisputable in and of itself and yet highly contestable both in terms of its framing and application to specific examples. Customary International Law in Times of Fundamental Change will undoubtedly spark important debate and further research on the process of expedited custom: a process that is controversial and potentially dangerous, but which - as Scharf ably demonstrates - undeniably occurs.
Scharf's careful development of the concept of Grotian Moments is to be applauded. His book closely analyses six scenarios from recent history in order to better identify both when such moments occur and when it seems like they might occur but nevertheless do not materialize.
Why have some controversial legal pronouncements, such as joint criminal enterprise liability and the Tadic Appeals Chamber's holding on the scope of ICTY's provision regarding violations of the laws or customs of war, rapidly gained acceptance as customary international law?
Why have other controversial legal pronouncements, such as the responsibility to protect doctrine and the recent expansion of the concept of anticipatory self-defense, not gained such rapid acceptance?
Scharf newest work gives careful scrutiny to these legal issues and many others, and what results is a piece of scholarship from which international courts from this point forward can use to understand when customary international law develops and, just as importantly, why. At its best, this book has the potential to influence international law scholars who are deeply entrenched in their own views and spark interest in students of the law who have not yet embarked on their intellectual journeys.
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