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Beyond the Law
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  • Page extent: 326 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.632 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 345.73/02
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: KF9625 .P38 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Detention of persons--United States
    • Terrorists--Legal status, laws, etc.,--United States
    • Combatants and noncombatants (International law)
    • War (International law)
    • War on Terrorism, 2001-

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521884266)

Provides a detailed exposition of violations of international law authorized and abetted by secret memos, authorizations and orders of the Bush administration. It describes why several executive claims were in error, what illegal authorizations were given, what illegal interrogation tactics were approved, and what illegal transfers and secret detentions occurred. It offers the most thorough documentation of cases demonstrating that the President is bound by the laws of war; that decisions to detain persons, decide their status, and mistreat them are subject to judicial review during the war; and that the commander-in-chief power is subject to restraints by Congress. Special military commissions contemplated by President Bush are analyzed along with the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan concerning their illegal structure and procedures, as well as problems created by the 2006 Military Commission Act.

• Most thorough attention to US executive common plan, authorizations, orders and abettments regarding unlawful detention and interrogation • This book shows how President Bush has illegally abused his commander-in chief power. • Two of the six chapters were cited in Supreme Court Cases Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, in earlier versions


1. Executive plans and authorizations to violate international law concerning treatment and interrogation of detainees; 2. Additional revelations concerning treatment, secret detentions, and secret renditions; 3. War and enemy status; 4. Judicial power to determine the status and rights of persons detained without trial; 5. Executive claims to unchecked power; 6. Antiterrorism military commissions.


Jordan Paust … has produced a thorough and definitive account of US war crimes against its detainees.' W. Podmore

'… [Professor Paust] writes with the detachment and care one expects of a good Q.C.' Contemporary Review

'What Beyond the Law compellingly delivers is an anatomy of how members of the Bush Administration ran afoul of international human rights law and how some senior lawyers shattered norms of legal ethics and professional responsibility. Paust provides an argument as to how international criminal law might retrospectively frame those events. Regardless of how we debate where the law might go in terms of adapting to perilous new security threats, Paust's work encourages anti-terrorism initiatives to be implemented in the name of law and now against law. His work also ensures that those engaged in the struggle against terrorist atrocity sacrifice neither their dignity nor humanity.' European Journal of International Law

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