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Journal of Environmental Law, Volume 28,  Issue 2

Air quality law in the United Kingdom at a crossroads

UK air quality law now finds itself at a crossroads. Air quality law is a well-established area of environmental law, having been at the vanguard of much of it. It is a well-established area across multiple levels of governance, with local and national regulation in the UK operating against a backdrop of binding EU standards and an international law framework for transboundary air pollution

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A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court

It’s easy to assume that only ‘evil’ people commit atrocity. And it’s equally easy to imagine the victims as ‘good’ or ‘innocent’. But the reality is far more complex. Many perpetrators are tragic. They may begin as victims. Victims, too, may victimize others. These victims are imperfect. Some victims survive – and some even thrive – because of harm they inflict.

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The targeted killing of American citizens

On August 5, the Obama administration released a redacted version of its so-called “playbook” for making decisions about the capture or targeted killing of terrorists. Translated out of the bureaucratese: at least off the battlefield the President makes the final decision, personally, about the targeted killing of American citizens and permanent residents. Many people find this fact about the administration’s decisional process momentous. But is it?

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Beyond the binary: Brexit, environmental law, and an interconnected world

What are the narratives we can tell about the future of UK environmental law in light of the result of the UK EU referendum? Any answer is not just important for the UK, but will also directly shape our understanding of what nationhood means in an era of globalisation. That sounds a rather grandiose statement to make, but let us explain.

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Law, gender equality, and social justice in India

My research interests have for more than five decades been directly or obliquely related to the making and administration of laws, especially with regard to women, in colonial and independent India. Indeed, my first series of articles, which appeared in the early 1960s, was on social reform and legislation in 19th century India. A little later, while researching for my doctoral dissertation on early Indian nationalism, I got interested in the Maharaja Libel Case.

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A democratic defence of the European Court of Human Rights

‘Vote leave, take control’ was the slogan of almost fiendish simplicity that helped win the Brexit referendum, masking the mendacity and absence of vision that underlay it. The impulses it captures—wresting sovereignty back from remote elites to Westminster, with its proud democratic tradition—echo those that have for years underpinned the opprobrium directed at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in British public debate.

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Why does the Democratic Party want the Cadillac tax abolished?

Democratic Party platform for 2016 repudiates a major provision of Obamacare – but no one has said this out loud. In particular, the Democratic Party has now officially called for abolition of the “Cadillac tax,” the Obamacare levy designed to control health care costs by taxing expensive employer health plans. Tucked away on page 35 of the Democratic platform is this enigmatic sentence: We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset it because we need to contain the long-term growth of health care costs.”

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How does international law work in times of crisis?

In preparation for the European Society of International Law (ESIL) 12th Annual Conference, we asked some of our authors to reflect on this year’s conference theme ‘How International Law Works in Times of Crisis’. What are the major challenges facing the field, and is international law effective in addressing these issues? What role do international lawyers play in confronting crises, both old and new?

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Murphy: Liberty, Conscience, and Toleration

Two Williams go to trial: judges, juries, and liberty of conscience

On this date in 1670: a trial gets underway. The two defendants had been arrested several weeks earlier while preaching to a crowd in the street, and charged with unlawful assembly and creating a riot. Their trial, slated to begin on 1 September, had been pushed back to 3 September after preliminary wrangling between the judge and the defendants. And so on this date – 246 years ago today – the defendants were called before the bench.

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Is undercover policing worth the risk?

The recently published ‘guidelines’ on police undercover operations prove to be just ‘business as usual’. The guidelines consist of 80 pages in which a new ‘alphabet soup’ of abbreviations describes each of a set of roles to be fulfilled by officers of given ranks.

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Employment law: Post-Brexit

The Leave vote in the EU referendum presents several potential challenges for employers which are of far more immediate and practical importance than speculation about the future direction of employment law in a post-EU environment.

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10 interesting facts about criminal justice

And what is the best way to ensure an easy transition for offenders that are about to be released? Julian Roberts, author of Criminal Justice: A Very Short Introduction, tells us the top 10 things everyone should know about criminal justice, and what the chances and limitations of the Western system are.

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The Arms Trade Treaty and exports to Saudi Arabia: “Now is the summer of our discontent?”

For some campaigners, the acid test of the effectiveness of a putative global arms trade treaty was whether it would prohibit or somehow legitimize the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia. Of course, those who expected a total prohibition on arms trading were always going to be deeply disappointed, but many of us felt it similarly unlikely that an international instrument would ever make it impossible for internally repressive regimes to procure weapons on the open market.

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Australia in three words, part 2 – “Kangaroo court”

A ‘kangaroo court’ is no more Australian than a Californian kangaroo rat. The term originated in the California of 1849, as a legacy of the summary and dubious efforts at informal justice on lawless gold fields. By contrast, the Australian gold fields of that period felt heavily the overbearing hand of the law. This contrast epitomes a larger paradox. Australians are seen as ‘disrespectful of authority’; the truth is they have, from their beginnings, been highly law-prone.

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Five crimes being committed by Pokémon Go players

Record-breaking mobile app Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 75 million times worldwide, a number set only to increase as the game is released in more territories. What five common crimes have police officers had to attend to as a result of this craze taking off?

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