Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law  book cover
8th Edition

Akehurst's Modern Introduction to International Law

ISBN 9780415243568
Published December 3, 2018 by Routledge
622 Pages

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Book Description

Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law continues to offer a concise and accessible overview of the concepts, themes and issues central to international law. This fully updated eighth edition encompasses the plethora of recent developments and updates in the field, and includes new dedicated chapters on international human rights, self-determination and international economic relations, an extended history and theory section reflecting the evolution of new and critical approaches in the field and a greater focus on terrorism and international criminal law.

New and updated chapters include:

  • Creation and recognition of States
  • Territory
  • Law of the sea
  • Immunities
  • State succession
  • Nationality and individual rights
  • Protection of the environment
  • Settlement of disputes
  • Use of force and armed conflict

With a distinctive cross-jurisdictional approach which opens up the discipline to students from all backgrounds, this book will arm the reader with all the tools, methods and concepts they need to fully understand this complex and diverse subject. As such, this is an essential text for students of international law, government and politics, international relations, and a multitude of related subject areas.

This textbook is supported by a companion website: www.routledge.com/cw/orakhelashvili.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. History

3. Sources of International Law

4. International Law and Municipal Law

5. Creation and Recognition of States

6. Legal Personality of Non-State Entities

7. Territory

8. Law of the Sea

9. Air Space and Outer Space

10. State Jurisdiction

11. Immunities

12. Law of Treaties

13. State Responsibility

14. State Succession

15. Protected Persons and Entities: Nationality and Individual Rights

16. Protected Persons and Entities: Human Rights, Group Rights and Self-Determination

17. Protection of the Environment

18. International Economic Relations

19. International Criminal Justice 

20. Use of Force

21. Laws Applicable to War and Armed Conflict

22. United Nations and Peace and Security

23. Settlement of Disputes

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Alexander Orakhelashvili, LLM (Leiden), PhD (Cantab.) is a Senior Lecturer at the law school of the University of Birmingham. His research covers all areas of international law. He has written and edited several books on international law, as well as a number of articles and chapters in leading journals and edited collections.


Orakhelashvili has done a tremendous job in updating a seminal textbook on international law. Clear, concise and comprehensive yet accessible, Akehurst’s Modern Introduction to International Law continues to be of great appeal both to newcomers to the field of international law and those well versed in the subject.
Christian Henderson, Professor of International Law, University of Sussex, United Kingdom


First published in 1970, Akehurst is a classic textbook that has introduced generations of students to the study of international law. In this new edition, Orakhelashvili brings it fully up to date while preserving its distinctly clear and insightful treatment of both doctrinal and theoretical questions. An essential companion for every serious student of international law.
Umut Özsu, Assistant Professor, Carleton University, Canada


For half a century Akehurst has stood out among introductions to international law for its readability and comprehensiveness, and its insightful analysis. Few scholars are better placed than Alexander Orakhelashvili to bring this classic text right up to date, and the resulting work will be an essential reference point for everyone in the field.
Professor Philip Alston, John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law, New York University, United States


For many years, Akehurst’s textbook was the standard for law and politics students studying public international law. This new edition, ably updated by Alexander Orakhelashvili, includes key advances in international law, for example, the Kosovo Decision and the evolving law on the right to self-determination, the explosion in international criminal tribunals, the growth of international environmental law and the increased relevance of arbitral tribunals. All of which is to be much applauded.
Dr. Kevin W. Gray, Adjunct Professor, Humber College, Canada