I have a new hero and his name is Paul Szasz. I don’t really know much about him, except that he worked briefly at the IAEA in the Legal Department in the early 60’s, and that he has written the best written and most comprehensive book about the IAEA that I have ever read. Above you will see a blurry (sorry!) picture of its cover. It is called “Legal Series 7: The Law and Practices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Nothing too interesting right? Wrong!
This book is 1189 pages of solid gold IAEA nerdiness. It covers just about anything you could ever want to know about the Agency (and a lot you don’t) from a legal perspective. But more than just that – it is readable! So readable in fact that I spent the good part of a week reading (and skimming) the entire document. Of course, parts of it are dated (it was published in 1970), but so much of it is still applicable and relevant today that I have heard that many within the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs still use it as a reference – a rumor that seems to be confirmed by the link to the document on the Office of Legal Affairs website, along with the Supplement, published in 1993.
I could go on and on about how amazing this book it. Hopefully, you won’t take my work for it and will skim some of the sections yourself, but I have to gush about one last thing. As I mentioned, it was written in the late 1960’s and first published in 1970, before the NPT had entered into force. Despite this, his predictions for how the IAEA would be affected by the possible entry into force and how the IAEA could change in the future are eerily correct. After I read this book, I did some more digging about Paul Szasz and found that he went on to be a bit of a legal rockstar. No surprises there. Unfortunately, his passing in 2002 was too soon for him to publish another Supplement and thereby weigh in on the AP, the SLC, and all sorts of other interesting changes within the Agency. Hopefully, there is some aspiring Nonpro Lawyer out there who will take on the project and carry on this holy work…