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New Biddle Acquisitions

December 12, 2014

New titles acquired by Biddle in the last month.

Our Word is Our Bond: How Legal Speech Acts

By Marianne Constable.
Stanford, California: Stanford Law Books, an imprint of Stanford University Press, [2014].
K487.L36 C658 2014.

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“Words can be misspoken, misheard, misunderstood, or misappropriated; they can be inappropriate, inaccurate, dangerous, or wrong. When speech goes wrong, law often steps in as itself a speech act or series of speech acts. Our Word Is Our Bond offers a nuanced approach to language and its interaction and relations with modern law. Marianne Constable argues that, as language, modern law makes claims and hears claims of justice and injustice, which can admittedly go wrong. Constable proposes an alternative to understanding law as a system of rules, or as fundamentally a policy-making and problem-solving tool. Constable introduces and develops insights from Austin, Cavell, Reinach, Nietzsche, Derrida and Heidegger to show how claims of law are performative and passionate utterances or social acts that appeal implicitly to justice.

Our Word Is Our Bond explains that neither law nor justice are what lawyers and judges say, nor what officials and scholars claim they are. However inadequate our law and language may be to the world, Constable argues that we know our world and name our ways of living and being in it through law and language. Justice today, however impossible to define and difficult to determine, depends on relations we have with one another through language and on the ways in which legal speech—the claims and responses that we make to one another in the name of the law—acts.”


Controversies in Affirmative Action 

Edited by James A. Beckman.
Santa Barbara, California: Praeger, [2014].
KF4755.5 .C66 2014.

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“This comprehensive, three-volume set explores the ways the United States has interpreted affirmative action and probes the effects of the policy from the perspectives of economics, law, philosophy, psychology, sociology, political science, and race relations. Expert contributors tackle a host of knotty issues, ranging from the history of affirmative action to the theories underpinning it. They show how affirmative action has been implemented over the years, discuss its legality and constitutionality, and speculate about its future. Volume one traces the origin and evolution of affirmative action. Volume two discusses modern applications and debates, and volume three delves into such areas as international practices and critical race theory.

Standalone essays link cause and effect and past and present as they tackle intriguing—and important—questions. When does “affirmative action” become “reverse discrimination”? How many decades are too many for a “temporary” policy to remain in existence? Does race- or gender-based affirmative action violate the equal protection of law guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment? In raising such issues, the work encourages readers to come to their own conclusions about the policy and its future application.”


Jews and the Law  

Edited by Ari Mermelstein, Victoria Saker Woeste, Ethan Zadoff, Marc Galanter.
New Orleans, Louisiana: Quid Pro Books, 2014.
KF299.J4 J49 2014.

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“Jews are a people of law, and law defines who the Jewish people are and what they believe. This anthology engages with the growing complexity of what it is to be Jewish - and, more problematically, what it means to be at once Jewish and participate in secular legal systems as lawyers, judges, legal thinkers, civil rights advocates, and teachers. The essays in this book trace the history and chart the sociology of the Jewish legal profession over time, revealing new stories and dimensions of this significant aspect of the American Jewish experience and at the same time exploring the impact of Jewish lawyers and law firms on American legal practice.”


Let me be a refugee: administrative justice and the politics of asylum in the United States, Canada, and Australia 

By Rebecca Hamlin.
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, [2014].
K3268.3 .H36 2014.

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“International law provides states with a common definition of a “refugee” as well as guidelines outlining how asylum claims should be decided. Yet even across nations with many commonalities, the processes of determining refugee status look strikingly different. This book compares the refugee status determination (RSD) regimes of three popular asylum seeker destinations: the United States, Canada, and Australia. Though they exhibit similarly high levels of political resistance to accepting asylum seekers, refugees access three very different systems-none of which are totally restrictive or expansive-once across their borders. These differences are significant both in terms of asylum seekers’ experience of the process and in terms of their likelihood of being designated as refugees. Based on a multi-method analysis of all three countries, including a year of fieldwork with in-depth interviews of policy-makers and asylum-seeker advocates, observations of refugee status determination hearings, and a large-scale case analysis, Rebecca Hamlin finds that cross-national differences have less to do with political debates over admission and border control policy than with how insulated administrative decision-making is from either political interference or judicial review. Administrative justice is conceptualized and organized differently in every state, and so states vary in how they draw the line between refugee and non-refugee.”


Legal implications of the euro zone crisis: debt restructuring, sovereign default and euro zone exit 

By Tolek Petch.
Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Kluwer Law International, [2014].
KJE7085 .P48 2014.

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In this urgently needed book, a member of the Eurozone and Sovereign Debt Working Group at Slaughter and May – perhaps the premier law firm involved in cases related to sovereign debt –focuses on the legal implications of default or exit by a euro zone state. Examining separately the consequences for private sector and official sector creditors, the author provides penetrating analysis and commentary on such elements of the crisis as the following: legal limitations on developing or expanding arrangements designed to avert sovereign default; compatibility with EU law of the outright monetary transactions (OMT) programme; implications for euro zone member states of decisions arising out of the 2001 Argentine default; legal implications of the redenomination of euro obligations into a new national currency; impact of capital and exchange controls including their compatibility with IMF, GATT,GATS, and EU law; potential for member state liability to bondholders under bilateral investment treaties; enforcement of judgments against a sovereign defendant; paths to euro zone exit; redenomination in the courts of other EU States; unlawful euro zone exit; expropriation; and enforcement of arbitral awards; and much more.” 


Restorative justice, reconciliation, and peacebuilding 

Edited by Jennifer J. Llewellyn and Daniel Philpott.
Oxford: Oxford University Press, [2014].
HV8688 .R4945 2014.

Click here to view the Full Catalog Record 

“All over the world, the practice of peacebuilding is beset with common dilemmas: peace versus justice, religious versus secular approaches, individual versus structural justice, reconciliation versus retribution, and the harmonization of the sheer number of practices involved in repairing past harms. Progress towards resolving these dilemmas requires reforming institutions and practices but also clear thinking about basic questions: What is justice? And how is it related to the building of peace? The twin concepts of reconciliation and restorative justice, both involving the holistic restoration of right relationship, contain not only a compelling logic of justice but also great promise for resolving peacebuilding’s tensions and for constructing and assessing its institutions and practices. This book furthers this potential by developing not only the core content of these concepts but also their implications for accountability, forgiveness, reparations, traditional practices, human rights, and international law.”