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Biddle New Titles

October 28, 2015

Biddle acquired a number of interesting and informative titles in the past month, including the following. For a complete list of new acquisitions, see here.

Biddle acquired a number of interesting and informative titles in the past month, including the following. For a complete list of new acquisitions, see here.


The constitution of the United States of America: a contextual analysis.  Mark Tushnet. Oxford; Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2015.  KF4550 .T872 2015. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record


“This is the second edition of Professor Tushnet’s excellent short critical introduction to the history and current meaning of the United States’ Constitution. It is organised around two themes: first, the US Constitution is old, short, and difficult to amend. These characteristics have made constitutional ‘interpretation’- especially by the US Supreme Court - the primary mechanism for adapting the Constitution to ever-changing reality. Second, the Constitution creates a structure of political opportunities that allows political actors, including political parties, to pursue the preferred policy goals even to the point of altering the very structure of politics. Politics, that is, often gives meaning to the Constitution. Deploying these themes to examine the structure of the national government, federalism, judicial review, and individual rights, the book provides basic information about, and deeper insights into, the way the US constitutional system has developed and what it means today.”


Law and lies: deception and truth-telling in the American legal system.  Edited by Austin Sarat. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2015.  KF1271 .L39 2015.   Click here to view the Full Catalog Record


“Law has a strangely complicated relationship to deception.  Though it sometimes takes a hard line on behalf of truth – ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,’ – competing values often cause law to look the other way.  How and why is lying alternately accepted, condemned, or prosecuted?   What are the government’s interests in allowing or disallowing lying? Law and Lies is the first book to thematically address the role of lying in the American legal system.   Undercover police agents are permitted to lie in the name of catching criminals, and government officials are permitted to lie in service of national security.   In the case of the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, lying was not only permitted, but actively encouraged. A range of illuminating case studies reveal that the government’s tolerance of deception is rarely as simple as the ‘whole truth.’”


Undocumented immigrants in an era of arbitrary law: the flight and the plight of people deemed ‘illegal.’ Robert Barsky.  Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge, 2015.  KF4800 .B37 2015.  Click here to view the Full Catalog Record


“This book describes the experiences of undocumented migrants, all around the world, bringing to life the challenges they face from the moment they consider leaving their country of origin, until the time they are deported back to it.   Drawing on a broad array of academic studies, including law, interpretation and translation studies, border studies, human rights, communication, critical discourse analysis and sociology, Robert Barsky argues that the arrays of actions that are taken against undocumented migrants are often arbitrary, and exercised by an array of officials who can and do exercise considerable discretion, both positive and negative.”


Secrecy, law and society.   Edited by Greg Martin, Rebecca Scott Bray and Miiko Kumar. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge, 2015. ebook. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record


“Commentators have shown how a ‘culture of security’ ushered in after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 has involved exceptional legal measures and increased recourse to secrecy on the basis of protecting public safety and safeguarding national security. In this context, scholars have largely been preoccupied with the ways that increased security impinges upon civil liberties. While secrecy is justified on public interest grounds, there remains a tension between the need for secrecy and calls for openness, transparency and disclosure.

In law, secrecy has implications for the separation of powers, due process, and the rule of law, raising fundamental concerns about open justice, procedural fairness and human rights. Beyond the counterterrorism and legal context, scholarly interest in secrecy has been concerned with the credibility of public and private institutions, as well as the legacies of secrecy across a range of institutional and cultural settings.

By exploring the intersections between secrecy, law and society, this volume is a timely and critical intervention in secrecy debates traversing various fields of legal and social inquiry. It will be a useful resource for academic researchers, university teachers and students, as well as law practitioners and policymakers interested in the legal and socio-legal dimensions of secrecy.”


Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the PRC Constitution.   Edited by Katja Levy. 
Zürich [Switzerland]: Lit Verlag, 2015. 

KNQ2069 .C66 2015.   Click here to view the Full Catalog Record

“The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) came into force in 1982, only a few years after the Cultural Revolution and the launching of reforms. However, since then, the PRC has changed significantly.  Although amended four times, does the Constitution still match the needs of China’s society today?   Where is Chinese constitutionalism heading?   Are there any plans to improve and further institutionalize the implementation of the Constitution?   How are Chinese legal experts discussing the future of their Constitution?  This volume features papers presented during a conference on the Chinese Constitution held in 2012.” 


Comparing the prospective effect of judicial rulings across jurisdictions.   Edited by Eva Steiner.    Cham: Springer, [2015]. ©2015. 
K7040 .C648 2015. 

Click here to view the Full Catalog Record

“This work deals with the temporal effect of judicial decisions, and more specifically, with the hardship caused by the retroactive operation of overruling decisions.  By means of a jurisprudential and comparative analysis, the book explores several issues created by the overruling of earlier decisions.

Overruling of earlier decisions, when it occurs, operates retrospectively with the effect that it infringes the principle of legal certainty through upsetting any previous arrangements made by a party to a case under long standing precedents established previously by the courts.  On this account, in the recent past, a number of jurisdictions have had to deal with the prospect of introducing in their own systems the well-established US practice of prospective overruling whereby the court may announce in advance that it will change the relevant rule or interpretation of the rule but only for future cases.  However, adopting prospective overruling raises a series of issues mainly related to the constitutional limits of the judicial function coupled with the practical difficulties attendant upon such a practice.  This book answers a number of the questions raised by this practice. It makes use of the great reservoir of foreign legal experience that furnishes theoretical and practical ideas from which national judges may draw their knowledge and inspiration in order to be able to advise a rational method of dealing with time when they give their decisions.”


Philosophical foundations of human rights.  Edited by Rowan Cruft, S. Matthew Liao, Massimo Renzo.   Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press, 2015. 
ebook. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record

“What makes something a human right? What is the relationship between the moral foundations of human rights and human rights law?   What are the difficulties of appealing to human rights?

This book offers the first comprehensive survey of current thinking on the philosophical foundations of human rights.  Divided into four parts, this book focusses firstly on the moral grounds of human rights, for example in our dignity, agency, interests or needs.  Secondly, it looks at the implications that different moral perspectives on human rights bear for human rights law and politics.  Thirdly, it discusses specific and topical human rights including freedom of expression and religion, security, health and more controversial rights such as a human right to subsistence.  The final part discusses nuanced critical and reformative views on human rights from feminist, Kantian and relativist perspectives among others.”


Negotiating state and non-state law: the challenge of global and local legal pluralism. Edited by Michael Helfand.    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 
ebook. Click here to view the Full Catalog Record

“Trends in legal philosophy, international law, transnational law, law and religion, and political science all point toward the increasing role played by non-state law in both public and private ordering. Numerous organizations, institutions, associations, and groups have emerged alongside the nation-state, each purporting to provide their members with rules and norms to govern their conduct and organize their affairs. The nation-state increasingly finds itself sandwiched, so to speak, between two broad and contrasting categories of non-state law. The first category – law above the state – captures a wide range of legal systems that function across the territorial borders of nation-states. The second category – law below the state – includes various forms of local customary, religious, and indigenous law. Indeed, as these forms of non-state law persist and proliferate alongside the nation-state, the relationship between state and non-state law becomes more complex, multifaceted, and tense.

This volume addresses this relationship between the nation-state and these various forms of non-state law, considering whether and to what extent state and non-state law can coexist and how each form of law seeks to influence as well as transform the other.”