Janet Hiebert

Janet Hiebert

Professor Emerita


Political Studies

Professor Emerita

People Directory Affiliation Category

Janet Hiebert joined the Department of Political Studies in 1991 and retired in 2022. Her recent research project examined how devolution agreements for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland influence legislative decision-making; more specifically,  how the processes and institutional dynamics for evaluating whether legislation complies with these devolution agreements constrain and influence government bills and parliamentary review.

Her most recent book, with Anna Drake and Emmett Macfarlane, is Legislating under the Charter: Parliament, Executive Power, and Rights (University of Toronto Press, 2023). She is the author of several books about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, along with numerous papers and chapters on the politics of rights and on campaign finance laws in Canada. 

She is a former president of the Canadian Political Science Association.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

“Notwithstanding the Charter:  Does Section 33 Accommodate Federalism,” in Elizabeth Goodyear Grant and Kyle Hanniman, eds., Canada at 150. Federalism and Democratic Renewal, Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, (Montreal:  McGill-Queen’s University Press), 2019.

“The Charter, Policy and Political Judgment,” in Emmett Macfarlane, ed., Policy Change, Courts, and the Canadian Constitution, (University of Toronto Press), 2019.

“The Charter’s Influence on Legislation.  Political Strategizing about Risk.” Presidential Address to the Canadian Political Science Association, Regina. Canadian Journal of Political Science 51:4 (2018), pp. 727-747.

 “Parliamentary Bills of Rights. Do They Alter the Norms of Legislative Decision-Making” in Gary Jacobson and Miguel Schor (eds), Comparative Constitutional Theory, (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018).  

“Vetting Bills in the Scottish Parliament for Legislative Competence,” with Christopher McCorkindale, Edinburgh Law Review 21:3 (2017), pp. 319-351.

“The Notwithstanding Clause and Charter Compliance: Why Infrequent use should not be equated with Charter Compliance,” in Nathalie Des Rosiers, Patrick Macklem and Peter Oliver (eds), Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution, (Oxford University Press, 2017).

The Court and the Charter: Leading Cases, second edition, with Peter Russell, Rainer Knopff and Tom Bateman (Emond Montgomery Publications, 2017).

The Court and the Constitution: Leading Cases, second edition, with Peter Russell, Rainer Knopff and Tom Bateman (Emond Montgomery Publications, 2017).

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

“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.

“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” 58 Supreme Court Law Review, second series (2012), pp. 87-107.

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

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

Charter Conflicts: What is Parliament’s Role? (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002) 285 pp. (Short-listed in 2002 for the Donald Smiley Prize for best book on the study of government and politics in Canada). (Second printing in paperback May 2004).

Limiting Rights: The Dilemma of Judicial Review (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996).\