A revised and updated edition of Geoffrey Robertson's impassioned, this is an authoritative guide to an issue of massive global importance. He tells the dramatic story of how the human rights idea has come to dominate world politics. He reveals how human rights has penetrated the legal armour of the sovereign State. He sets out, without legal jargon, the rights of humankind in the 21st Century. And he predicts what this movement has in store - not only for tyrants and torturers, but also for the superpowers who still resist the demands for universal justice.
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Geoffrey Robertson QC has appeared as counsel in landmark human rights cases in British, International and Commonwealth courts. He is Head of Doughty Street Chambers and Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Birkbeck College. His other books include FREEDOM, THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE LAW and MEDIA LAW (both in Penguin) and his memoir, THE JUSTICE GAME, was published in 1998. He lives in London.From Publishers Weekly:
A British lawyer long involved in human rights observations and tribunals, Robinson writes of the history and the contemporary politics of international human rights. He devotes a chapter each to the history of human rights law; the case of General Pinochet; the "Guernica Paradox" (that is, bombing in the service of human rights); the International Court; and recent events in the Balkans, East Timor, Latin America and the U.S. An unabashed supporter of international military intervention, Robinson puts individuals' rights above the right of national sovereignty. Passionate almost to a fault, he occasionally even argues that morality, the defense of human rights, should supersede the rule of international law. To his credit, he is consistently willing to criticize all sidesAand he does criticize the U.S. Congress (for what he says is its occasional desire to place U.S. interests above international human rights), U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (for what Robinson considers his occasional incompetence) and anyone who'd excuse human rights violations in the name of cultural relativism. The author's disgust with the U.N.'s inaction leads him to propose that the human rights community form a separate organization to deal with the issue. At times, Robinson's intense focus on law may blind him to important holes in his argument. But overall, this is an erudite book that adds sophistication to the debate on a crucial subject. (Aug.)
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