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Law is at the heart of every society, protecting rights, imposing duties, and establishing a framework for the conduct of almost all social, political, and economic activity. Despite this, the law often seems a highly technical, perplexing mystery, with its antiquated and often impenetrable jargon, obsolete procedures, and endless stream of complex statutes and legislation. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks introduces the major branches of the law, describing what lawyers do, and how courts operate, and considers the philosophy of law and its pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality. In this second edition, Wacks locates the discipline in our contemporary world, considering the pressures of globalization and digitalisation and the nature of the law in our culture of threatened security and surveillance. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life, shaping the character of our community and underlying issues from racism and abortion to human rights and international war. The revised edition of this Very Short Introduction examines the central questions about law's relation to justice, morality, and democracy.
Interest in international law has increased greatly over the past decade, largely because of its central place in discussions such as the Iraq War and Guantanamo, the World Trade Organisation, the anti-capitalist movement, the Kyoto Convention on climate change, and the apparent failure of theinternational system to deal with the situations in Palestine and Darfur, and the plights of refugees and illegal immigrants around the world. This Very Short Introduction explains what international law is, what its role in international society is, and how it operates. Vaughan Lowe examines what international law can and cannot do and what it is and what it isn't doing to make the world a better place. Focussing on the problems the worldfaces, Lowe uses terrorism, environmental change, poverty, and international violence to demonstrate the theories and practice of international law, and how the principles can be used for international co-operation.
A concise examination of the central role of legal decisions in shaping key social issues explores topics ranging from Native American affairs and slavery to business and home life as well as how criminal and civil offenses have been addressed in positive and negative ways. Original.
Environmental law is the law concerned with environmental problems. It is a vast area of law that operates from the local to the global, involving a range of different legal and regulatory techniques. In theory, environmental protection is a no brainer. Few people would actively argue forpollution or environmental destruction. Ensuring a clean environment is ethically desirable, and also sensible from a purely self-interested perspective. Yet, in practice, environmental law is a messy and complex business fraught with conflict. Whilst environmental law is often characterized inoverly simplistic terms, with a law being seen as be a magic wand that solves an environmental problem, the reality is that creating and maintaining a body of laws to address and avoid problems is not easy, and involves legislators, courts, regulators and communities. This Very Short Introduction provides an overview of the main features of environmental law, and discusses how environmental law deals with multiple interests, socio-political conflicts, and the limits of knowledge about the environment. Showing how interdependent societies across the world havedeveloped robust and legitimate bodies of law to address environmental problems, Elizabeth Fisher discusses some of the major issues involved in environmental law's: nation statehood, power, the reframing role of law, the need to ensure real environmental improvements, and environmental justice. AsFisher explains, environmental law is, and will always be, necessary but inherently controversial. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The European Union is rarely out of the news and, as it deals with the consequences of the Brexit vote and struggles to emerge from the eurozone crisis, it faces difficult questions about its future. In this debate, the law has a central role to play, whether the issue be the governance ofthe eurozone, the internal market, "clawing back powers from Europe" or reducing so-called "Brussels red tape".In this Very Short Introduction Anthony Arnull looks at the laws and legal system of the European Union, including EU courts, and discusses the range of issues that the European Union has been given the power to regulate, such as the free movement of goods and people. He considers why anorganisation based on international treaties has proved capable of having far-reaching effects on both its Member States and on countries that lie beyond its borders, and discusses how its law and legal system have proved remarkably effective in ensuring that Member States respect the commitmentsthey made when they signed the Treaties. Answering some of the key questions surrounding EU law, such as what exactly it is about, and how it has become part of the legal DNA of its Member States so much more effectively than other treaty-based regimes, Arnull considers the future for the EuropeanUnion.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, andenthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
What is a family? What makes someone a parent? What rights should children have? In this Very Short Introduction Jonathan Herring provides an insight not only into what the law is, but why it is the way it is. It also looks at the future to consider what families will look like in the years ahead, and what new dilemmas the courts may face.
The concept of law lies at the heart of our social and political life. Legal philosophy, or jurisprudence, explores the notion of law and its role in society, illuminating its meaning and its relation to the universal questions of justice, rights, and morality. In this Very Short Introduction Raymond Wacks analyses the nature and purpose of the legal system, and the practice by courts, lawyers, and judges. Wacks reveals the intriguing and challenging nature of legal philosophy with clarity and enthusiasm, providing an enlightening guide to the central questions of legal theory. In this revised edition Wacks makes a number of updates including new material on legal realism, changes to the approach to the analysis of law and legal theory, and updates to historical and anthropological jurisprudence. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Law touches every aspect of our daily lives, and yet the main concepts, terms, and processes of the legal system remain obscure to many. This 'Very Short Introduction' provides a clear, jargon-free account of modern legal systems, explaining how the law works both in the Western tradition and around the world.
Medicine evolves fast, and medical law tries to keep up. It deals with some of the most fascinating, fundamental and difficult questions about the human body and mind. Charles Foster surveys the principles governing medical law.
Focusing on highly topical issues such as torture, arbitrary detention, privacy, and discrimination, this book will help readers to understand for themselves the controversies and complexities behind human rights.
Summary: Philosopher Stephen Law explains why humanism--though a rejection of religion--nevertheless provides both a moral basis and a meaning for our lives.-publisher description.
Law touches every aspect of our daily lives, and yet the main concepts, terms, and processes of the legal system remain obscure to many. This Very Short Introduction provides a clear, jargon-free account of modern legal systems, explaining how the law works both in the Western tradition and around the world.
The laws of thermodynamics drive everything that happens in the universe. From the sudden expansion of a cloud of gas to the cooling of hot metal, and from the unfurling of a leaf to the course of life itself - everything is directed and constrained by four simple laws. They establish fundamental concepts such as temperature and heat, and reveal the arrow of time and even the nature of energy itself. Peter Atkins' powerful and compelling introduction explains what the laws are and how they work, using accessible language and virtually no mathematics. Guiding the reader from the Zeroth Law to the Third Law, he introduces the fascinating concept of entropy, and how it not only explains why your desk tends to get messier, but also how its unstoppable rise constitutes the engine of the universe.
Today it is usually not long before a problem gets expressed as a human rights issue. Indeed, human rights law continues to gain increasing attention internationally, and must move quickly in order to keep up with a social world that changes so rapidly. This Very Short Introduction, in its second edition, brings the issue of human rights up to date, considering the current controversies surrounding the movement. Discussing torture and arbitrary detention in the context of counter terrorism, Andrew Clapham also considers new challenges to human rights in the context of privacy, equality and the right to health. Looking at the philosophical justification for rights, the historical origins of human rights and how they are formed in law, Clapham explains what our human rights actually are, what they might be, and where the human rights movement is heading. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Islamic law is one of the major legal systems in the world today, yet it is often misunderstood, particularly in the West. This book provides a critical overview of the theory, scope, and practice of Islamic law, taking into account both classical and modern scholarly perspectives in examining the various facets of this key legal system.
The ancient Near East is defined, for the purposes of this book, as the cuneiform lands," the regions of the ancient world where the cuneiform script, written on clay tablets, was used as the most common medium for written communication. These lands comprise Mesopotamia (with its variously named regions: Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria); Syria, Elam (later known as Persia), and Anatolia. The three thousand years to be covered by this book - from around 3500 BCE, with the founding ofthe first Mesopotamian cities (which coincide with the invention of writing) to the conquest of the Near East by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE - encompass an era of remarkable innovation and achievement. Many of the creations of the people of the ancient Near East are still with us, from fundamental inventions such as the wheel and the plow to intellectual feats such as the inventions of astronomy, law, and diplomacy. The region is known as the "cradle of civilization" for good reason. Here, men and women first tried to live peacefully together in densely urban cities, and found ways, through law and custom, to thrive and prosper. The popular image of history as a story of progress from primitive barbarism to modern sophistication is completely belied by the study of the ancient Near East. For example, women had many rights and freedoms; they could own property, run businesses, and represent themselves in court. Diplomats traveled between the capital cities of major powers ensuring peace and friendship between the kings. Scribes and scholars studied the stars and could predict eclipses and the movements of the planets. These achievements were lost in subsequent centuries, only to be reborn in more modern times. Perhaps the most obvious legacy from the ancient Near East is seen in some of our units of measurement. The Mesopotamians invented a mathematical system based on the number 60, and all the 60-based units in our modern world (including seconds, minutes, and degrees) have come down, unaltered, directly from Mesopotamia. Taking a chronological view, the book will include what we know, ideas about what we don't yet know (but perhaps will in the future), evidence used for discerning the history of the region, and approaches taken to the evidence by scholars of the ancient Near East. Each chapter will focus on one or two archaeological sites that have contributed extensive evidence (both textual and archaeological) to our understanding of an era and expanding from that evidence to a broader view of the era as a whole."
The British constitution has grown organically in response to changes in its economic, political, and social environment, and is not contained in a single authoritative text. In this Very Short Introduction, Martin Loughlin examines the nature and authority of the constitution, and its challenging prospects for the future.
A Supreme Court reporter offers an introduction to one of the pillars of American government, focusing on the people and traditions of the U.S. Supreme Court and examining many individual Supreme Court cases.
This book introduces identity, one of the most iconic concepts of our time, which is used ubiquitously but rarely explained. It discusses the various uses of 'identity' separately for different fields of study - philosophy, psychology, sociology, gender studies, and linguistics. This book also compares Western concepts and theories of identity with similar concepts in other parts of the world. It explains how contemporary trends in marketization and globalization have made identity increasingly important to us in the last 50 years. This book also outlines the historical background to the concept of identity.

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