Dr. Jula Hughes

Professor and Dean, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University

Dean Hughes researches in the areas of judicial ethics, criminal law and Aboriginal law

Media

UNB Law Professor Jula Hughes on the arrest of Blogger Charles LeBlanc

UNB Law Professor Jula Hughes on the arrest of Blogger Charles LeBlanc

UNB prof’s research looks at impact of regulatory law after decriminalization

The Blog of Canadian Lawyer and Law Times, January 13, 2015Online

URL: http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/legalfeeds/2480/unb-prof-s-research-looks-at-impact-of-regulatory-law-after-decriminalization.html

“We have really underestimated the power of regulatory law in terms of mobilizing stigma,” says Jula Hughes, an associate professor at UNB’s Faculty of Law “Regulatory law does almost as good a job of stigmatizing as criminal law. This is something the courts have refuted every time but I think the abortion experience really bears that out.”...

Thursday Thinkpiece: Hughes and Bryden on the Test for Judicial Disqualification

Slaw, April 10, 2014Online

URL: http://www.slaw.ca/2014/04/10/thursday-thinkpiece-hughes-and-bryden-on-the-test-for-judicial-disqualification/

The “reasonable apprehension of bias” test for judicial disqualification has been a fixture of Canadian law for many years, at a minimum since its formulation in the National Energy Board case in 1978. By that time, the Supreme Court of Canada was able to draw on a long history of Canadian and other common law precedents in support of identically or similarly framed tests for determining judicial impartiality. Despite a considerable amount of litigation concerning judicial impartiality since that time, the test itself has remained fundamentally unaltered and is well accepted in the jurisprudence. Unfortunately, the application of the test continues to generate difficulties for judges who need to use it to make decisions in marginal cases...

The Chronicle Herald proposed contract could remove union, legal experts say

CBC News, January 29, 2016Online

URL: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/chronicle-herald-union-contracts-lawyers-1.3424013

It changes job security to "an aspiration rather than a right," said Jula Hughes, a University of New Brunswick professor who specializes in labour law and has reviewed the offer. "I can't tell you what would happen, but I can tell you that the employer certainly would have the ability to fundamentally move from being a unionized to a non-union workplace," Hughes said...

P.E.I. abortion decision fuels access concerns in New Brunswick

CBC News, April 1, 2016Online

URL: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/abortion-access-new-brunswick-pei-1.3515841

By not funding the clinic it creates "a climate of shame and a climate of stigma," said Jula Hughes, associate professor at the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of Law...

Métis anxiously await landmark Supreme Court ruling on rights

CBC News, April 12, 2016Online

URL: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/metis-supreme-court-indian-status-1.3532693

UNB law professor Jula Hughes says a favourable ruling on Thursday for Canada's estimated 200,000 Métis and 400,000 non-status Indians could open up access to federal programs affecting schooling, child care, health benefits, culture, and language. "It would get us out of a situation where, for any given person, there is a dispute between the federal government and the provincial government, as to who is responsible," said Hughes. "And it would improve situations where now people fall through the cracks."...

Métis in New Brunswick 'ecstatic' over Supreme Court ruling

CBC News, April 14, 2016Online

URL: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/metis-supreme-court-decision-status-1.3535417

University of New Brunswick assistant law Prof. Jula Hughes, who does research regarding the duty to consult in Atlantic Canada, also believes the negotiation table has become bigger, as a result of Thursday's decision. "This is an emergent area of the law, so I wouldn't want to say anything that would sound like a closed list," she said when asked to provide examples of future negotiations...

Urban Aboriginal People and the Honour of the Crown - A Discussion Paper

Published by University of New Brunswick Law Journal

2015 Aboriginal people in Canada are urbanizing along with other Canadians and, in fact, the global human population. Empirical research suggests that Aboriginal people thrive in the urban environment. Despite this, a strong mythology persists that imagines the Aboriginal person as residing in rural settings, usually on a remote reserve. By contrast, the urban landscape is described as hostile and fundamentally unsuited to Aboriginal living. The mythology persists because there is a lack of awareness about the needs, aspirations, contributions and social structures of urban Aboriginal populations in Canada. In this paper, we explore whether governmental mechanisms developed in the context of the constitutional duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples should be mobilized to improve awareness about urban Aboriginal populations and governmental responsiveness to their needs and aspirations. We discuss the legal framework of the duty to consult, the conceptual and practical challenges in making the duty to consult work for urban Aboriginal people and we point to areas where further research is required.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2626493

Social Science Evidence in Constitutional Rights Cases in Germany and Canada: Some Comparative Observations

Published by National Journal of Constitutional Law

2013 In this paper we compare Canadian courts’ approach to social science evidence with that of the German Constitutional Court. After describing the Canadian approach in constitutional rights cases, we provide some background on the German Constitutional Court and its use of social science evidence. We then undertake two German case studies. We examine the First and Second Abortion decisions, which show the difference in approach to constitutional review occurring at the time that legislation is first introduced versus when a law has been in place for some time, as well as a series of decisions challenging various aspects of the Transsexual Law, which deal with evolving social scientific knowledge. We go on to consider whether the Supreme Court of Canada’s current approach to social science evidence could be improved upon by engaging with the German comparator in three areas: the process for receiving and evaluating social science evidence; dealing with changes in the state of the science or the emergence of new bodies of scientific knowledge; and the role of deference as it relates to social science evidence. We conclude that some guidance on these issues might be found in the German jurisprudence.

URL: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2544469

Like Oil on Troubled Water: A Labour Perspective on the Charter Labour Jurisprudence of Justice Louis Lebel

Published by 70 Supreme Court Law Review

2015 Justice LeBel has made highly significant and positive contributions to the development of the Supreme Court’s Charter labour jurisprudence. During his tenure, the Labour Trilogy of the 1980s was overturned and the constitutionalization of important labour rights under section 2(d) of the Charter emerged. Justice LeBel led the way towards infusing the jurisprudence with international, comparative and labour history methodologies and alerting it to the implications of globalization. These contributions have fundamentally altered the Court’s views on the basic function of labour law, one that accords with the broad, purposive and liberal construction of other Charter rights as protective of vulnerable interests. He put to rest a very troubled common law history, and overcame an incoherent and narrow early Charter labour jurisprudence. His version of freedom of association can afford to be broad and liberal because its articulated purpose will prevent an application to associational activities that should not be protected while protecting those that advance the legitimate interests of disadvantaged groups. These momentous changes are welcome as they enhance the legitimacy of the Court and the Charter for working people, but they have created some uncertainty about the circumstances in which the Court will depart from constitutional precedent.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2660143

Judicial Education as a Forum for Identifying and Meeting Research Needs

Published by International Organization for Judicial Training

2015 Judicial independence and impartiality are core values of all justice systems in liberal democracies. The need to maintain independence and, importantly, an appearance of independence can, however, lead to judicial isolation. Judicial isolation sometimes makes it difficult for both judges and scholars to identify areas of research where the judiciary could benefit from academic investigation. Formalized venues of judicial education not only provide opportunities for continued judicial education, but also have the potential to promote exchanges among judges and between judges and legal scholars. Given appropriate framework conditions of confidentiality and open discourse, these exchanges can lead to the articulation of research needs and suggested avenues of meeting these needs. In this paper, we reflect on both the opportunities and the challenges associated with judicial education seminars as a venue for academics and judges to identify research needs and work collaboratively to pursue research that meets those needs. We begin by describing our own experience with participation in judicial education seminars on the topic of judicial disqualification. We then discuss the ethical and practical considerations we had to take into account in doing this work. Finally, we suggest why we believe that, with some important limitations, participation in judicial education can provide mutually beneficial opportunities for scholars and judges to identify useful research projects and collaborate in the conduct of that research.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2614702

From Abortions to Sex Work: What Decriminalization Can Teach Us About Stigma in Criminal Law

Published by Social Science Research Network

2013 In this paper we compare Canadian courts’ approach to social science evidence with that of the German Constitutional Court. After describing the Canadian approach in constitutional rights cases, we provide some background on the German Constitutional Court and its use of social science evidence. We then undertake two German case studies. We examine the First and Second Abortion decisions, which show the difference in approach to constitutional review occurring at the time that legislation is first introduced versus when a law has been in place for some time, as well as a series of decisions challenging various aspects of the Transsexual Law, which deal with evolving social scientific knowledge. We go on to consider whether the Supreme Court of Canada’s current approach to social science evidence could be improved upon by engaging with the German comparator in three areas: the process for receiving and evaluating social science evidence; dealing with changes in the state of the science or the emergence of new bodies of scientific knowledge; and the role of deference as it relates to social science evidence. We conclude that some guidance on these issues might be found in the German jurisprudence.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2544469

From Principles to Rules: The Case for Statutory Rules Governing Aspects of Judicial Disqualification

Published by Osgoode Hall Law Journal

2016 The common law “reasonable apprehension of bias” test for judicial disqualification is highly fact and context specific. While there are good reasons for this approach as a general proposition, it also gives rise to considerable uncertainty for both judges and litigants in considering whether or not it is appropriate for the judge to sit in a marginal case. This article explores rule-based judicial disqualification regimes in the United States, Germany and the Quebec Code of Civil Procedure to gain insights into how rules can be employed to provide greater clarity to judges and litigants who are addressing situations that have the potential to give rise to judicial disqualification. Using these insights, the authors then propose the use of rules to address problem areas with respect to professional relationships with former colleagues and clients, prior judicial involvement with litigants, extra-judicial writings, and procedural rules for making determinations concerning judicial disqualification.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2791528

Bargaining for Contract Academic Staff at English Canadian Universities

Published by Working USA

2015 Successful unionization of, and conclusion of collective agreements for, contract academic staff in English Canada challenges the received wisdom that the Wagner Act model is an insurmountable obstacle to the unionization of contingent labor. It provides an example that might prove instructive for other contingent workers. This paper describes the process of unionization of contract academic staff in English Canada and seeks to explain its relative success. The exceptional situation of contract academic staff as non-unionized workers in an otherwise unionized environment, access to the expertise and resources of large, national unions or associations and a sophisticated national strategy were contributing factors to successful unionization. The paper also considers the degree to which contract academic staff collective agreements fulfill the promise of unionization. We analyze sample collective agreements, noting the variety and strength of various contractual models. We conclude by suggesting that contract academic staff have benefited considerably from unionization. Despite these successes, the experience of contract academic staff supports critiques of the Wagner Act model as applied to contingent labor.

URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2626562

Biography

Dr. Jula Hughes is a professor and Dean, Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University. She researches in the areas of judicial ethics, criminal law and Aboriginal law. Prior to her appointment at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law in 2019, she was a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick. Prior to that, she practiced labour and human rights law in Ottawa.

Hughes is the author of 24 peer-reviewed publications, and has participated in numerous international and national conferences as invited speaker, convener, presenter, panel organizer and discussant. A recipient of UNB Law's Teaching Excellence award in 2016, she taught Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence, as well as Foundations, Public Law, Labour Law, Labour Arbitration, Human Rights Law, Wrongful Convictions and Advanced Criminal Procedure.

Recognition/Reconnaissance

University of Victoria, Visiting Scholar | Professional

2017

Teaching Excellence Award of the Faculty of Law, UNB | Professional

2016

Visiting Professor, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law | Professional

September 2014 - June 2015

Visiting Scholar, University of Potsdam Faculty of Law, Potsdam, Germany | Professional

January to August, 2013

Additional Titles and Affiliations

Duty to Consult with Urban Aboriginals in Atlantic Canada : Lead Researcher

Association of University of New Brunswick Teachers : Past President

Research Ethics Board of the University of New Brunswick : Board Member

Past Talks

Ungewollt schwanger: Wer soll entscheiden?

40 Jahre Fristenlösung – und immer noch im Strafgesetz!

Vienna, Austria, May 26, 2015

The Duty to Consult Off-Reserve and Non-Status Populations

Faculty of Law

University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK., October 31, 2016

Politics is Women’s Work - A Gender Lens on the Duty to Consult

Institute for Feminist Legal Studies

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, ON., February 3, 2017

Gender Discrimination and the Duty to Consult

Invited Speaker

University of Victoria, Victoria, BC., May 13, 2016

Feminism’s (un)timely business - Improving abortion access in the Maritimes

Health Law and Policy Seminar Series

Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, October 31, 2014

Expertise

  • Labour Law
  • Judicial Ethics
  • Jurisprudence
  • Indigenous Governance
  • Human Rights Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Comparative Constitutional Law
  • Aboriginal Law

Education/Éducation

  • University of New Brunswick
    University Teaching
    D.U.T., 2007
  • University of Ottawa
    LL.B., 1999
  • University of Erlangen Nuremberg
    Ph.D., 1996
  • University of Erlangen Nuremberg
    German and Comparative Literature
    M.A., 1992

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