Author: Laura Westra
Exploring such acts of environmental violence as "ecocrimes," the author builds the case that the international law principles of jus cogens and erga omnes justify characterizing ecocrime as a "just crime" requiring action to curb their occurrence and punishment to deter them. The book discusses the obstacles that defining environmental assaults as "ecocrimes" will face both in national and international circumstances. The author concludes by proposing the creation of an International Environmental Court that would adjudicate "ecocrime" issues. This forward thinking work will be of great interest to all involved in the human rights issues of environmental threats.

Published under the Transnational Publishers imprint.
Author: Laura Westra
In this work Laura Westra draws our attention to the failure of international law to promote and protect the rights of society in the face of the ravages of neoliberal agendas in an era of globalization. This book outlines how international law is perhaps a misnomer, and at its core there is a great distance between laws as they are written and laws as they are implemented. Each chapter in this volume peels back the illusions of laws as instruments designed to protect the public welfare, and shows how the intersection of globalization and neoliberal democracy has stripped people of their dignity, has violated human rights, has resulted in ecological disaster, all for the singular goal of profit and in the name of so-called economic rationality. Westra demonstrates how documents like national constitutions, with its eloquent language on the rights of its citizens, are cast aside when it comes to defending those rights. Calling international law a failed enterprise, the heart of this book explores how we may yet reconstruct a true system of international rights enforced by real international laws, and contemplates the limitations and possibilities of international organizations to effectively address truly international problems. Through the lens of what might be called a political ecology Westra offers us a call for action to protect our environments and indeed our selves.
Author: Laura Westra
Terrorism, a widespread global phenomenon, manifests itself in the actions and the policies of individuals and groups, but also and primarily in the actions and policies of states. Delving into the seldom-discussed question of the motivation for most episodes of terrorism, this book studies terrorism’s effects based on the economic and geopolitical imbalances that frame today's global governance. The main goal of terrorism is to induce terror, and perhaps to influence public opinion for political change. Many states hide their terrorist activities under the “faces” they show the world, masks intended to hide real aims of acquiring or expanding power and wealth. These activities, presented as “self-defense,” “preventive action,” “counter-measures” or even as promoting "progress and development," are forms of state terrorism that are much more widespread, powerful, and destructive than the actions originating from groups labeled terrorist since 9/11. This book examines the numerous illegal measures states use, from unlawful imprisonment and curtailing of civil liberties to torture, in the name of responding to terrorism. At the same time, it considers how trade and industrial activities terrorize people by depriving them of the natural resources they need to survive and by exposing communities to life-threatening hazardous conditions. In closing, the book considers how existing laws might stem the tide of state terrorism. The conclusions are not optimistic: the UN's systems and legal regimes are clear in defense of human rights, but the structure and nature of state power do not permit these mandates to prevail.

With a foreword by Tullio Scovazzi.
Author: Laura Westra
The growth of corporate power has kept pace with and even exceeded the rapid rise of globalization in the past two decades. With it has come the weakening of a nation’s ability to hold corporate power in check, and the increasing inability of states to protect the rights of individuals within their national boundaries as a result of the growing number of international legal instruments.

This work lays bare corporate actions both domestic and international, under the guise of legal "personhood," and shows how corporations flaunt laws and act as controlling powers beyond the constraints imposed on legal state citizens. Corporations are now “embedded” within domestic legal regimes and insinuate themselves to subvert the very systems designed to restrain corporate power and protect the public weal. Using international vehicles like the WTO and NAFTA, corporate collective power effectively supersedes the constitutional mandate of nation states.
Author: Laura Westra
Protesters and mass demonstrations by citizens of many democratic countries are increasingly daily occurrences reported in today's news media. These protests are often considered to be illegal or are charged with disrupting the peace, and even when they are non-violent assemblies they are attacked by police and riot squads called in to disperse the protesters.

Through a careful review of opposition to injustice, this book demonstrates that most often these protests and demonstrations are in support of and defend moral and legal principles that their democratic governments have forgotten to uphold or have chosen to ignore. Much like the earlier Civil Rights Movement in the US, that was centered on issues of social justice and human dignity, Westra concludes that today's protesters and social movements rally to defend human rights and moral principles against the undue influence of corporate actors, and raise their voice in opposition to the resulting actions by and under the authority of their governments.
In: Faces of State Terrorism
In: Faces of State Terrorism
In: Faces of State Terrorism
In: Revolt Against Authority