Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
When Governments Break the LawThe Rule of Law and the Prosecution of the Bush Administration$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Austin Sarat and Nasser Hussain

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814741399

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814741399.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2020



Responding to Government Lawlessness: What Does the Rule of Law Require?

(p.1) Introduction
When Governments Break the Law

Nasser Hussain

Austin Sarat

NYU Press

This book examines the contemporary debate over whether senior Bush administration officials should be investigated and prosecuted for authorizing domestic surveillance and the use of torture against “enemy combatants” during the war on terrorism. More specifically, it considers what the commitment to a rule of law demands when governments break the law, focusing in particular on the procedural, legal, political, and cultural issues of what it would mean either to pursue criminal prosecutions or to refuse to do so. The question, it argues, is not whether officials could be prosecuted but whether they should be prosecuted. In this introduction, the principal charges against the Bush administration and the factors that illuminate the question of how we should respond when governments break the law are discussed, along with the meaning of a rule of law, the role of emergency, the relation of a rule of law to international law, and the lessons of transitional justice.

Keywords:   rule of law, Bush administration, torture, war on terrorism, criminal prosecution, emergency, international law, transitional justice

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.