Faculty Scholarship Underscored In New Books

American University Washington College of Law’s rich intellectual life is evident in our faculty’s groundbreaking scholarship and its engagement with the community, nation, and world through written word. Every year, a number of our distinguished faculty publish books that underscore their expertise on a wide array of legal topics, from international law to equality within the U.S. justice system.


Some Kind of Justice: ICTY book cover

Professor Diane Orentlicher’s book, Some Kind of Justice: The ICTY's Impact in Bosnia and Serbia (Oxford University Press), provides an unparalleled account of an international tribunal’s impact in societies that experienced mass atrocities. In what has been called “the definitive account of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” (ICTY), Some Kind of Justice offers fresh insights into the question of when a community in crisis might benefit from the engagement of an international court, and what factors determine the impact of distant courts in post-conflict societies.

Orentlicher explores the ICTY's impact in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which experienced searing atrocities culminating in the Srebrenica genocide. The book highlights the perspectives of Bosnians and Serbians based on the author’s interviews, including victims' experiences of justice. Orentlicher also offers important and practical lessons learned about how the International Criminal Court and other tribunals can improve their performance.


Policing the Black Man book cover

Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment, edited by Professor Angela J. Davis, explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men  at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men.

In the book’s introduction, Davis states “the tragic killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Erik Garner, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, and others served as a catalyst for this anthology.” Contributors include Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy, and Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


International Law and Reparations book cover

An analysis of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) as it relates to full reparations is the topic of AUWCL Professor and Dean Emeritus Claudio Grossman’s latest book, International Law and Reparations: The Inter-American System.

The book, co-authored by Agustina del Campo and Mina A. Trudeau, explores the notions of "fair remedy," "injured party," and the possibility of achieving "restitutio in integrum" for human rights violations through an analysis of decisions issued by the IACtHR. The reader is encouraged to consider not only the current status of the law, but also the role played by victims, lawyers, commissioners, and judges in its jurisprudential development. The book interprets Article 63 of the American Convention on Human Rights and underscores that the IACtHR is guided by the notion that human rights instruments should be interpreted in light of its object and purpose in accordance with the State members of the Organization of the American States.


EU Law Stories book cover

Professor Fernanda Nicola, an expert in comparative law and European Union law, collaborated with Bill Davies, a European historian with the AU School of Public Affairs, to publish a groundbreaking analysis of the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The book, EU Law Stories: Contextual and Critical Histories of European Jurisprudence, takes a new perspective, showing that EU law does not always evolve in a linear and detached manner and there are many different actors behind the scenes of the Court’s decisions. The narrative clusters stories of EU law around prominent cases in order to re-focus the scholarship and teaching of EU law by unraveling lawyering techniques, offering thick descriptions of the cases, and showing the importance of a sociological understanding of the role of judges, advocate generals, law clerks in Luxembourg and their interlocutors.


Materials on Tort Reform book cover

In summer 2017, the second edition of Professor Andrew F. Popper's casebook Materials on Tort Reform was published by West Publishing. Through objective commentary, essays on both sides of the battle, articles, interest group papers, and cases, this text assists in the comprehension of the past 40 years of tort reform struggles. Materials on Tort Reform considers whether the tort system yields inefficient and counter-productive results (e.g., a less competitive market and higher prices), or is it that prized legal regime its supporters contend, leveling the playing field and preserving fragile rights of injured consumers. Popper's text explores the shift in the debate, allowing readers to form answers to these questions and gain insights into how the tort reform tale might end.

Popper is the Bronfman Distinguished Professor of Law and Government at AUWCL and chair of the law school's Committee on Admissions. Beyond his Tort Reform treatise, Popper has authored eight books. Later this fall, for the first time, his law-themed novels, Rediscovering Lone Pine and Sunrise at the American Market, will be available as audiobooks on audible.com and iTunes.


Forging Justice book cover

Professor Robert Tsai’s forthcoming book, Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation, examines the historical fight for equality in America and presents a roadmap for how best to achieve it now. The book  shows that legal ideas that aren’t necessarily about equality at all—ensuring fair play, acting reasonably, avoiding cruelty, and protecting free speech—have been used to overcome inequality in the past and can serve as potent alternative tools to promote equality today. 

From the oppression of emancipated slaves after the Civil War to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II to President Trump’s recent Muslim ban, Practical Equality traces the challenges to equality throughout American history. Tsai then applies lessons from these and other past struggles to contemporary issues, including the rights of sexual minorities, racial profiling, police brutality, voting restrictions, and more.