2019 Publications

Listed below are books written by our Center members, separated by publication year and alphabetically by author name. 

Comparative Human Rights Law, 2019

Authors: Sandra Fredman

Publisher:  Oxford University Press

Language: English

About: Courts in different jurisdictions face similar human rights questions. Does the death penalty breach human rights? Does freedom of speech include racist speech? Is there a right to health? This book uses the prism of comparative law to examine the fascinating ways in which these difficult questions are decided. On the one hand, the shared language of human rights suggests that there should be similar solutions to comparable problems. On the other hand, there are important differences. Constitutional texts are worded differently; courts have differing relationships with the legislature; and there are divergences in socio-economic development, politics, and history. Nevertheless, there is a growing transnational conversation between courts, with cases in one jurisdiction being cited in others. Part I (Chapters 1–5) outlines the cross-cutting themes which shape the ways judges respond to challenging human rights issues. Chapters 1–5 examine when it is legitimate to refer to foreign materials; how universality and cultural relativity are balanced in human rights law; the appropriate role of courts in adjudicating human rights in a democracy; and the principles judges use to interpret human rights texts. The book is unusual in transcending the distinction between socio-economic rights and civil and political rights. Part II (Chapters 6–12) applies these cross-cutting themes to comparing human rights law in five jurisdictions. These chapters focus on seven particularly challenging issues: the death penalty, abortion, housing, health, speech, education, and religion, with the aim of inspiring further comparative examination of other pressing human rights issues. It is primarily court-centred, but also examines courts’ drawbacks.


International Law's Objects, 2019

Authors: Jessie Hohmann and Daniel Joyce

Publisher:  Oxford University Press

Language: English

About: Our Study Group member Lolita Buckner Inniss has authored a chapter titled “Ships’ Ballast” in this book.

From her chapter: In this chapter I offer a brief discussion of the history of the use of ballast in trans­atlantic slavery. I then consider how slave ships’ ballast had a crucial role in shaping norms of international trade and law. In both of these contexts the use of ballast ad­vanced the nominalization of the processes of capturing and enslaving Africans via the transatlantic trade. …Ships’ ballast, by enabling the trade in slaves, made persons into captives, captives into ships’ cargo, and ships’ cargo into slaves. As ships’ cargo, African captives were sometimes sub­ject to an even more grim transformation wherein the bodies of the captured were reduced to mere ballast to be jettisoned when maritime conditions dictated. …Ballast in its numerous forms, and its human involvement, was both a key material object as well as a symbol of the transatlantic slave trade, international law, and the suffering of captive Africans

International Human Rights Law Cases, Materials, Commentary, 2019

Authors: Olivier De Schutter,

Publisher:  Cambridge University Press

Language: English

About: International human rights law has expanded remarkably since the 1990s. It is therefore more important than ever to identify, beyond specific controversies, its deeper structure and the general pattern of evolution. Moreover, it has a logic of its own: though part of international law, it borrows many of its principles from domestic constitutional law. This leading textbook meets both challenges. It has been significantly updated for the new third edition, introducing sections on subjects including business and human rights, amongst other key areas. Features include forty new cases from various jurisdictions or expert bodies, and figures offering visual descriptions of the procedures discussed in the text. The ‘questions for discussion’ have also been systematically updated. The text retains its student-friendly design, and the features which made the previous editions so engaging and accessible remain. This popular textbook continues to be an essential tool for all students of human rights law.