AuthorMark Freeman, Gibran Van Ert
This book deserves a very warm reception. It is timely and relevant,
appearing as international human rights law itself is promoting and
shaping the globalisation of a culture of rights. As the first comprehen-
sive Canadian international human rights law text, this volume provides
a particularly illuminating Canadian perspective and approach to the
subject, including a very useful consideration of our domestic reception
of international human rights law. In filling this lacuna in the literature,
I expect this work to reduce the reliance previously placed by Canadian
students and instructors on materials developed with American and
British audiences in mind. As if this were not enough, compounding the
value of the text’s unique Canadian perspective, timeliness, and rele-
vance, is the obvious care and exhaustiveness with which it has been
researched and the accessible style in which it is written.
Although the roots of international human rights law can be traced
back at least several centuries, as Freeman and van Ert ably explain, it
only recently emerged as an independent field of law with develop-
ments in the aftermath of the Second World War. Prominent among
these postwar developments were the formation of the United Nations
in 1945 and the adoption and proclamation by the General Assembly
of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948.
The authors skilfully link the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
to this parentage, while others, including the courts, have been more
tentative, or “opaque,” as the authors put it, in doing so.
Apart from the immense value of their work to a Canadian audi-
ence, Freeman and van Ert have provided a useful synthesis of the inter-
national dimensions of human rights law by describing in considerable
detail the history, the content, and the application of the various extant
United Nations and regional human rights instruments. In addition, the
authors expertly outline the major mechanisms through which interna-
tional human rights laws are promoted and protected, a topic that is of

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