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History of ICSID

Establishing ICSID: an idea that was “in the air”

As a young ICSID neophyte, I once asked Aron Broches, the World Bank’s General Counsel from 1959 to 1979, how he had come up with the idea for the Centre. “It was in the air,” he explained. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, there were indeed a number of proposals circulating for the creation of an international arbitral mechanism for the settlement of investment disputes.

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John Oliver, Televangelists, and the Internal Revenue Service

John Oliver’s sardonic spoof of televangelists raises important issues that deserve more than comic treatment. Oliver’s satire was aimed both at the televangelists themselves and at the IRS. In Oliver’s narrative, the IRS acquiesces to televangelists’ abuse by granting their churches tax-exempt status and failing to audit these churches.

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‘Us’ and ‘Them': Can we define national identity?

Surveys show that a high percentage of British citizens “feel British.” But what exactly do people have in mind when they say this? People may think differently about this question, and perhaps it is also British to give various meanings to British identity. Still, can we define what it is to “feel” British? Or even what is un-British—be it a pattern of behavior, a belief, or a way of doing things?

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Compassionate law: Are gay rights ever really a ‘non-issue’?

On his recent visit to Kenya, President Obama addressed the subject of sexual liberty. At a press conference with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, he spoke affectingly about the cause of gay rights, likening the plight of homosexuals to the anti-slavery and anti-segregation struggles in the United States.

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Brand management in the internet age: new options, new concerns

Starting in 2012, ICANN revolutionized the internet with the release of a vast number of new top-level domain spaces. With the launch of over 1000 new spaces in the near future, simply registering your client’s business name in one or two extensions may not prove sufficient to reach their audiences.

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Is the glass half full or will trouble for lawyers prevail?

As new students dive into life as a 1L, recent graduates await their bar results and lawyers continue to soldier on in their ever-changing, ever-growing profession. Legal ethics scholar Deborah L. Rhode, author of The Trouble with Lawyers, and law professor Benjamin H. Barton, author of Glass Half Full, joined us to chat about a few hot topics in law.

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Sexual exploitation and abuse by UN Peacekeepers

Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) by UN peacekeepers is not fresh news. It has been going on for years. It first hit the headlines over ten years ago, and the scandal drove the UN to take action. Yet recent allegations over SEA by French peacekeepers in 2014 have brought the issue to the forefront again, and have motivated the UN Secretary-General to escalate the UN’s response to SEA in its peacekeeping operations.

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Austerity and the prison

Greece is not alone in suffering from budget cuts arising from the era of austerity. In the UK, local councils, libraries, museums – all public services have been cut. Criminal Justice has not escaped this cost-cutting. The consequence has been fewer police officers on the streets, less money for legal aid lawyers, and closures of Magistrates courts.

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Space, place, and policing [interactive map]

“For policing scholars, space, places, and the physical and social environment have served as significant contextual backdrops,” state Cynthia Lum and Nicholas Fyfe, Special Editors of the Policing Special Issue. To mark Policing’s new Special Issue on ‘Space, Place, and Policing: Exploring Geographies of Research and Practice’, we’ve put together a map showcasing the global and place-based approaches the journal’s contributors have taken towards policing research.

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The top ten films all aspiring lawyers need to see

Preparing for law school doesn’t have to be purely academic; there’s plenty you can learn from film and TV if you look in the right places. We asked Martin Partington, author of Introduction to the English Legal System, for his top ten film recommendations for new law students and aspiring lawyers.

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America’s irrational drug policies

Ten students at two visitors at Wesleyan University have been hospitalized after overdosing on the recreational drug Ecstasy, the result of having received a “bad batch.” The incident elicited a conventional statement from the President of the University: “Please, please stay away from illegal substances the use of which can put you in extreme danger.”

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What is climate change law?

Some years ago Dave Markell and I noticed that commentary on climate change law was devoting a tremendous amount of attention to a small handful of judicial opinions as being representative of trends in climate change litigation, whereas inventories of climate change litigation, such as the Columbia Law School’s Sabin Center blog, included hundreds of active and resolved cases.

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The new social contracts

Fire and collapse in Bangladeshi factories are no longer unexpected news, and sweatshop scandals are too familiar. Conflicting moral, legal, and political claims abound. But there have been positives, and promises of more. The best hope for progress may be in the power of individual contracts.

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Freedom from Detention for Central American Refugee Families

August 19th is World Humanitarian Day, declared by the UN General Assembly in 2008, out of a growing concern for the safety and security of humanitarian workers who are increasingly killed and wounded direct military attacks or infected by disease when helping to combat global health pandemics.

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Frank Wijckmans speaks to the Oxford Law Vox

In the sixth instalment of the Oxford Law Vox podcast series, competition law expert Frank Wijckmans talks to George Miller about cartels and EU competition law. Frank is an author, alongside Filip Tuytschaever, of Horizontal Agreements and Cartels in EU Competition Law, and he covers the key themes of the book in his conversation with Law Vox.

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What is global law?

Since the end of World War II, with the creation of the United Nations, the rules and structure of the traditional inter-state community have been changing. International law is increasingly shifting its focus from the state to the individual. It gradually lost the features of the classical era, placing greater emphasis on individuals, peoples, human beings as a whole, humanity, and future generations.

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