The Daily Telegraph

Rule by lawyers


SIR – Jonathan Gaisman’s review of Philippe Sands’s book The Last Colony (Review, August 31) cast useful light on both the author’s unbalanced viewpoint and on internatio­nal law.

This is not created by democratic­ally elected legislatur­es, but by groups of like-minded lawyers at the UN or a similar body, with a particular legal outcome in mind. It lacks the balance of laws issuing from elected legislatur­es. Furthermor­e – and crucially – it cannot be repealed by any elected legislatur­es, but only by another group of lawyers.

This is the rule of lawyers, not the rule of law, but Mr Sands clearly regards internatio­nal law as a moral panacea. It is not. Too often, it is exploited by Left-wing lawyers for a purpose for which it was never intended.

UN resolution­s that become internatio­nal law are too often politicall­y motivated and the result of direct or indirect graft or threats from China or Russia.

Gregory Shenkman

London SW7

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