In the wake of the calamitous events of September 11, 2001, public international law has endured some of the greatest tests of its several-hundred-year history and emerged as one of the most resilient and potent tools available to human society in facing the unsettling global conditions of the early 21st century. As a result, since the appearance of the first edition of this book in 2001, public international law –ostensibly a system of law regulating the relations between states – has continued to evolve and grow in significance for daily life within states. Yet, while the idea of public international law has impinged upon the public consciousness in new and urgent ways in the past few years, it remains poorly understood by many.
As with the first edition of this book, therefore, the second edition of Public International Law provides a systematic introduction to the international legal system, including its key structural and institutional aspects as well as its core substantive topics. Analysis of all topics has been extensively revised and expanded since the first edition in order to reflect the many legal changes that have occurred since 2001. Several new discussions have also been introduced, considerably expanding the substantive coverage of the text. In particular, given the centrality of the topic to the functioning of the modern international legal system, an entirely new chapter on the use of force in international relations has been added.
While the treatment is intended to introduce lawyers, judges and law students to the topic for the first time, detailed case analyses and bibliographical references will also make this book of interest to those already familiar with the field. A glossary, detailed index and table of cases will further increase the book’s value as a reference tool and assist with navigation through the text.