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Queen's University

Janet Hiebert

B.A. Hons. (UBC); M.A., Ph.D. (Toronto)

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CV | Website | Email
Department of Political Studies
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room C419
Phone: (613) 533-6234
Fax:  (613) 533-6848

(CV - PDF*, 216KB)


Research Interests

Politics of Rights (Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand); Canadian federalism

Brief Biography

Janet Hiebert has been teaching in the Department of Political Studies since 1991, having received a B.A. (Hons.) from UBC in 1985 and M.A. (1986) and Ph.D. (1991) fromToronto. She is the author of two books about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,  Charter Conflicts: What is Parliament's Role? (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002), and  Limiting Rights: The Dilemma of Judicial Review (McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996), along with numerous papers and chapters on the politics of rights and on campaign finance laws in Canada. She has served as a member of the Ontario Electoral Boundaries Commission, an independent, non-partisan body with responsibility to readjust the electoral boundaries in the province of Ontario. Her current research project examines how the recent adoption of bill of rights in several parliamentary jurisdictions affects political practices, policy development and legislative  behaviour (Canada, NZ, UK, Australia).

Selected Publications

“Parliamentary Engagement with the Charter: Rethinking the Idea of Legislative Rights Review,” Supreme Court Law Review, second series, v. 58 (2012), pp. 87-107.

“Governing under the Human Rights Act. The Limitations of Wishful Thinking,” Public Law (January 2012), pp. 29-46.      

“Scholarly Debates about the Charter/Federalism Relationship:  A Case of Two Solitudes,” with Jeremy Clarke, in The Federal Idea. Essays in Honour of Ronald L. Watts, ed. By Thomas J. Courchene et al, (Montreal:  McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011), pp. 77-98.

“Governing Like Judges?” in Tom Campbell, K.D. Ewing, and Adam Tomkins, eds., (Oxford University Press) 2011,  pp. 40-65.

“Constitutional experimentation: Rethinking how a Bill of Rights Functions, in Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsberg, eds., Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, (2011), pp. 298-320..

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” in John C. Courtney and David E. Smith, eds., Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics (New York: Oxford University Press),  2010, pp. 54-71. .

“Compromise and the Notwithstanding Clause:  Why the Dominant Narrative Distorts our Understanding,” in James B. Kelly and Christopher Manfredi, eds.,  Contested Constitutionalism: Reflections on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms   (Vancouver: UBC Press), 2009.  

The Court and the Constitution:  Leading Cases, with Peter Russell, Rainer Knopff and Tom Bateman (2008).  Toronto:  Emond Montgomery Publications.

The Court and the Charter: Leading Cases, with Peter Russell, Rainer Knopff and Tom Bateman (2008). Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publication.

Parliamentary Bills of Rights: An Alternative Model?” Modern Law Review v. 69(1) (2006), pp.7-28.

Parliament and the Human Rights Act: Can the JCHR help facilitate a culture of rights?” International Journal of Constitutional Law,  v. 4:1 (2006), pp. 1-38.

Interpreting a Bill of Rights: The Importance of Legislative Rights Review,” British Journal of Political Science  v 35 (2005), pp. 235-255. 

“Is it Too Late to Rehabilitate Canada’s Notwithstanding Clause?” Supreme Court Law Review 2nd series, v. 23 (2004), pp. 169-189.

New Constitutional Ideas.  But can new parliamentary models resist judicial dominance when interpreting rights?” Texas  Law Review, v. 82:7 (2004), pp. 1963-1987.

Course(s) taught in 2012-2013

POLS 317 - Charter Politics (Fall term)

POLS 486/886 - The Politics of Rights (Fall term)


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Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000