20 May Two Excellent New ICL Treatises: O’Keefe and Guilfoyle
Nothing quite beats a good treatise. Until recently, however, students and scholars of international criminal law had few worthy choices — the best for students being Cryer et al’s An Introduction to International Criminal Law and Procedure and the best for scholars being Werle’s Principles of International Criminal Law.
Those books now have serious competition. Over the past few months, OUP has published two excellent ICL treatises written by leading scholars in the field. The first comes courtesy of UCL’s Roger O’Keefe.
O’Keefe’s book will be of primary interest to scholars, because it is very long and extremely dense. But it’s a must-read, both for its comprehensiveness and for its impressive willingness to tackle fundamental theoretical issues in ICL, such as the nature of an international crime. The only downside to the book is its expense — £95. I hope OUP will release a paperback version in the near future.
The second treatise is written by Monash’s Douglas Guilfoyle.
Although ICL scholars will want to have it on their bookshelves, Guilfoyle’s treatise is aimed primarily at students. It is less dense than O’Keefe’s treatise, but it still manages to provide exceptionally clear overviews of all of the primary issues in ICL without sacrificing intellectual rigour. I particularly like the way Guilfoyle uses sidebars to provide examples and “counterpoints” regarding specific issues — they are uniformly helpful. The price of the treatise is also right at £37.
I’m sure excellent ICL treatises remain to be written. But O’Keefe and Guilfoyle’s entries have raised the bar considerably.