Book of the Day: Ristau’s International Judicial Assistance

Ristau's International Judicial Assistance

My copy of the new Ristau’s International Judicial Assistance just arrived! This is not a review of the book, as I’ve only breezed through some of it, but I do want to recommend it to readers who, like me, find it useful to have a small library of really useful books.

The book honors the legacy of Bruno Ristau, a scholar and civil servant, who was one of the drafters of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Ristau’s treatise was a multivolume affair that was authoritative but that had become somewhat dated for the modern practitioner. And because it was a multivolume set not available online, consulting it meant (for me) a trip to the Social Law Library. The new edition, edited by David Bowker and David Stewart, is in a more useful one-volume format. Its chapters cover choice of law, choice of forum, proof of foreign law, and then the meat-and-potatoes Letters Blogatory topics: service, taking evidence, recognition and enforcement, and even legalization.

When I call the book “really useful,” I could mean a lot of things. I could mean John P. Sinnott’s A Practical Guide to Document Authentication, a really helpful book with country-by-country practical information about legalization of documents, which, with no disrespect intended, is filled with practical detail but has little if any doctrine or theory. I could mean the ABA desk treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, to which I had the pleasure of contributing, and which is intended as a really useful guide for practitioners, written mostly by practitioners. I could mean Gary Born’s casebook on International Civil Litigation in United States Courts, which is like the Hart & Wechsler of our field. The new Ristau falls somewhere in the middle: scholarly (David Stewart is a professor at Georgetown Law, though he had a long and storied career in the State Department) but practical (David Bowker is the head of the international litigation group at WilmerHale). I have no doubt I’ll be consulting it regularly.

The book is available from Oxford University Press in hard cover and, of course, in electronic formats. You should get it!

One response to “Book of the Day: Ristau’s International Judicial Assistance”

  1. Caroline Polisi

    I found that the book regarding Risto minimizes the politically charged nature of his scholarship.

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