Five Masters of International Law

Five Masters of International Law : Conversations with R-J Dupuy, E Jimenez de Arechaga, R Jennings, L Henkin and O Schachter

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This book consists of interviews with five distinguished international lawyers from the UK, USA, Uruguay and France, conducted by the editor, Antonio Cassese, between 1993 and 1995. Each interview is preceded by a brief 'intellectual portrait' of the interviewee. In his general introduction Cassese stresses that the interviews, all based on the same questionnaire, were intended to bring out not only the main ideas associated with each scholar in the fields of international law and international relations, but also his intellectual and philosophical background, his general outlook and his views of the prospects for the evolution of the international community. In his final essay, Cassese brings together the main threads of the interviews and points to the parallels and divergences appearing from them.

This book offers a unique and important insight into the legal minds and outlook of a select group of prominent scholars of international law and legal institutions during the last years of the twentieth century.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 306 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 15mm | 488g
  • Hart Publishing
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1849461201
  • 9781849461207
  • 1,293,115

Table of contents

Basic Questionnaire
Rene-Jean Dupuy
Interview with Rene-Jean Dupuy: June 1993
I. The Formative Years
II. Encounters with Other International Lawyers
III. The Role of the Jurist as Scholar and Practitioner
IV. A Look at the International Community
V. The Jurist and Global Reality
Eduardo Jimenez de Arechaga
Interview with Eduardo Jimenez de Arechaga: November 1993
I. The Role of Legal Scholarship at the Start of Judge de Arechaga's Scholarly Activity
II. Meeting Other International Lawyers
III. Jimenez de Arechaga's Academic and Political Career
IV. Thoughts About the International Community
V. The Jurist and Global Reality
Sir Robert Jennings
Interview with Sir Robert Jennings: October 1994
I. The Beginning as a Scholar
II. Encounters with Other Scholars
III. The Role of the Jurist as Scholar and Practitioner
IV. A Look at the International Community
V. The Jurist and Global Reality
Louis Henkin
Interview with Louis Henkin: February 1995
I. The Formative Years
II. Encounters with Other International Lawyers
III. The Role of the Jurist as Scholar and Practitioner
IV. A Look at the International Community
V. Some Personal Questions
Oscar Schachter
Interview with Oscar Schachter: February 1995
I. The Beginning as a Scholar
II. The Policy-Science Approach versus the Strictly Legal Approach
III. Encounters with Other International Lawyers
IV. The Theoretical Approach to International Law
V. The Role of the Jurist as Scholar and Practitioner
VI. A Look at the International Community
VII. The Jurist and Global Reality
Final Remarks
By Way of Conclusion
I. On the Limits of my Attempt to Highlight the Main Points of the Interviews
II. Basic Commonalities
III. The European Kernel in the Education of the Interviewees
IV. Legal Positivism
V. Scholar versus Practitioner
VI. Political Involvement
VII. The Evils of the Current International Community
VIII. The Outlook for the World Community
IX. Personal Matters
X. Final Observations
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Review quote

This book...filled me with admiration. It is so typical of certain features of Nino's character, especially his intellectual curiosity and his modesty. Nino, himself a great master of international law, felt the need to interview five masters of international law. It is also highly significant that he emphasizes and praises the human qualities of the interviewees, which were also his own, such as simplicity, affability, gentleness, urbanity, esprit de finesse and witty irony.

Each interview makes for lively and interesting reading: one grasps the rich and different personalities of the interviewees...In spite and beyond their differences, they present important common features. All of them embraced legal positivism, though to varying degrees. -- Peter Leuprecht * Journal of International Criminal Justice Volume 10 * While it is not a textbook by any stretch of the imagination, the reader comes out of the book with the feeling of actually having learned something, not so much on the level of technical detail ... but rather on the level of inspiration: what it means to be an international lawyer and to work, in one way or another, for the common good.

Cassese's interviews follow roughly identical patterns but, fortunately, he has been wise enough to let his conversation partners expand a bit whenever they were so inclined: it is the combination of Cassese's astute questioning and his liberal handling of the interviews which makes for lively, engaged reading.

...this is a lovely book, and it might well be a good idea to repeat the effort with other international lawyers reaching the end of long and distinguished careers. -- Jan Klabbers * Global Law Books * In short, Five Masters is a unique and fascinating work, and the field of international law would be poorer without it. One can only hope that similar books will be produced by and with the current and future generations of great international lawyers. -- Sondre Torp Helmersen * Zeitschrift fur Auslandisches *
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About Antonio Cassese

Antonio Cassese is an international lawyer who has combined a career as a university professor with membership of important UN bodies, and, latterly, membership of several international tribunals. Most recently (1993-2000) he was a judge and President (1993-1997) of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Chairman of the UN International Commission of Inquiry into Crimes in Darfur (Sudan), Independent Expert appointed by the UN Secretary-General to review the efficiency of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and, since March 2009, Judge and President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
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