Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

Janet Hiebert

Janet Hiebert profile pictureProfessor
PhD, MA (Toronto); BA Hons (UBC)
Canadian Politics

Department of Political Studies
Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room C419
Phone: (613) 533-6234
Fax:  (613) 533-6700 
Janet Hiebert's CV (PDF, 396KB)


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 BA (Hons.) from UBC in 1985 and MA (1986) and PhD (1991) from Toronto. Her most recent book, with James Kelly, is Parliamentary Bills of Rights. The Experiences of New Zealand and the United Kingdom (Cambridge University Press, 2015). 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 (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 the use of bills of rights and other statutory instruments to alter the norms of legislative decision-making, with a particular focus on Canada and Australia.

Selected Publications

Parliamentary Bills of Rights: The New Zealand and United Kingdom Experiences (co-written with James B. Kelly (Cambridge University Press 2015)), 484 pp.

“Legislative Rights Review: Addressing the Gap between Ideals and Constraints” in Murray Hunt, Hayley Hooper and Paul Yowell (eds.) Parliament and Human Rights: Redressing the Democratic Deficit (Oxford: Hart Publishing), 2015.

“The HRA: Ambiguity about Parliamentary Sovereignty” (2013) 14:12 German Law Journal, pp. 2251-2254. R

“The Courts/Parliament Trade-off: Canadian Attitudes on Judicial Influence on Public Policy” with Elizabeth Goodyear Grant and J. Scott Matthews, 51:3 Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (2013), pp. 377-397  R.

“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.