Though McColgan's book promises much, it fails to persuade the reader for several reasons. First, a number of the examples used to demonstrate the inferiority of entrenched rights actually suggest the opposite. The second reason why McColgan fails to persuade results from her forcing constitutional arguments where there are none. The third problem with this book is its failure to extrapolate its arguments about women to other disadvantaged groups.
Despite these shortcomings, there is much in McColgan's book to recommend it. Her prose is fluid, her presentation of US and Canadian law, particularly regarding abortion, is extensive, and her arguments are clearly made. In fact, the author's ability to introduce such a large amount of information may work against her, for it gives the impression that she is cataloguing the laws in the various jurisdictions rather than comparing them. Indeed, the absence of a more rigorous comparative analysis of the two approaches leaves one with the sense that the most important work has yet to be done. Had the author been able to deliver what was promised, this book would have posed a powerful challenge to notions of human rights and constitutional protections as traditionally conceived.
S. I. Strong,
Book Review: Women Under the Law: The False Promise of Human Rights, 59 Cambridge Law Journal 627
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/859