My writings have been mostly on the reception of public international legal norms in Canadian law. Recently, however, I have departed from my usual legal interests in a personal memoir about Star Wars.

Using International Law in Canadian Courts

The only book-length treatment of the reception of public international legal norms into Canadian domestic law

"...clearly reasoned, but complex and comprehensive in its treatment of the issues. It introduces van Ert as an author who is confident, straightforward, and methodical, without being dogmatic. Internationalists, along with experts on federalism, treaty interpretation, administrative law, and the enforcement of human rights guarantees, should congratulate him..." 

Jamie CameronMcGill Law Journal

"in many respects a model of doctrinal research and writing...this is an important book which merits attention. Van Ert’s thoroughness of research and clarity of style, combined with his important insights into the strengths, weaknesses and potential for development of the Canadian reception system, represent a significant contribution to legal knowledge." 

Jaye Ellis, Revue québécoise de droit international


A Long Time Ago: Growing Up With And Out Of Star Wars

Some time in the summer of 1977, sitting in the back seat of a borrowed station wagon at the only drive-in in town, Gib van Ert saw the first ninety minutes of a film that changed his world--and the world in general--forever. Then he fell asleep. So began a torrid thirty-five-year love affair with Star Wars, complete with infatuation, lust, devotion, jealousy, betrayal, despair, separation and reconciliation. 

"...mandatory reading for everyone who grew up with the original Star Wars and its toys in the 70s and 80s..."

Yet Another Star Wars Blog

"A Long Time Ago is a thoughtful, funny, and beautifully written story...scathingly hilarious and bang on."

Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

"A Long Time Ago is a wonderful look back on growing up with Star Wars...Van Ert [has] written a great little memoir about life as a boy with Star Wars and his trials as an adult with his boyhood fascination."

Dave Banks,

Available in paperback and e-book from and other Amazon stores. Also in e-book from Kobo and Smashwords.

The Role of Domestic Courts in Treaty Enforcement

This book, edited by David Sloss and published by Cambridge University Press, examines the application of treaties by domestic courts in twelve countries. The central question is whether domestic courts actually provide remedies to private parties who are harmed by a violation of their treaty-based rights. 

My contribution is chapter four, "Canada".  

International Human Rights Law 

An account of the international law of human rights from a Canadian perspective. Written by Mark Freeman and Gib van Ert, with a foreword by Louise Arbour.

Part One introduces the international law of human rights, including the related areas of international labour, refugee, humanitarian, and criminal law. 

Part Two addresses the reception of international human rights norms in Canadian domestic law. 

Part Three is devoted to the promotion and protection of human rights in Canadian, international, and (to a lesser extent) foreign law. 

"As the first comprehensive 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."

 From the foreword by Louise Arbour

The Globalized Rule of Law

Edited by Oonagh Fitzgerald. 

From different angles and through a variety of lenses, the papers in this collection examine the relationships between international and domestic law and the treatment of international law by Canadian governments, parliamentarians, and the courts. 

My contributions are chapter three, "What Is Reception Law?" and chapter seven, "Labour Conventions and Comprehensive Claims Agreements: A New Model for Subfederal Participation in Canadian International Treaty-Making" (with Stefan Matiation).


The Canadian Yearbook of International Law

Edited by René Provost and John H. Currie.

I have prepared the Yearbook's Canadian case law summaries since 2004 (most recently with Greg Allen and Rebecca Robb). 

I have also published articles and book reviews in the Yearbook from time to time since 1998.