Lakehead Law School announces Dr. Julia Hughes as New Dean

New Dean Announced for Lakehead Law School

THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Lakehead University’s Interim Provost & Vice-President (Academic), Dr David Barnett, is pleased to announce that Dr Jula Hughes has been named as the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law’s new Dean.

Dr Hughes is currently a professor at the Faculty of Law of New Brunswick and will begin at Lakehead University on October 1, 2019.

Dr. Hughes holds a prestigious two-year appointment as University Research Scholar and is the principal investigator on an SSHRC and Status of Women Canada funded research and community action collaboration titled “Looking out for each other,” a capacity-building project by, with and for Indigenous communities and Aboriginal organizations that supports families and friends of missing persons.

Prior to her appointment at the University of New Brunswick, she practised labour and human rights law in Ottawa.

Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is a regional law school with a focus on Northern Ontario. It embraces three mandates in its curriculum: Aboriginal and Indigenous Law, Natural Resources and Environmental Law, and Sole/Small Town Practice with the Integrated Practice Curriculum.

“Jula’s experience makes her a perfect fit with the faculty’s three mandates,” Dr Barnett said, adding that he would like to thank the members of the Search Committee and everyone who participated and supported the search, within Lakehead and from the external community.

Dr Hughes said she is excited to join the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. “Reconciliation with First Peoples and access to justice are key challenges for our legal system, for the legal profession and for legal education in Canada,” she said. “I am excited to join the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law as Dean and to lead and contribute to a faculty with a mandate to learn from Indigenous legal traditions and to promote equitable and honourable relationships between Indigenous Peoples and settlers.

“Access to justice is an important determinant of a peaceful and prosperous society. Through the Integrated Practice Curriculum, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law is educating lawyers in the North, for the North. I see huge promise in the approach Lakehead University has taken to the issue of access to justice. We can make a big difference.”

The search process for Lakehead’s newest Dean of Law began in 2018. The Search Committee was comprised of representatives from the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, other Lakehead University Faculties; the University’s various governing bodies, the Thunder Bay Law Association, Anishinabek Nation, Anishinawbe Omaa Minowaywin (the advisory committee at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law), Fort William First Nation, Grand Council Treaty 3, the Métis Nation of Ontario, Nishnawbe Aski Nation, and Lakehead University’s Ogimaawin-Aboriginal Governance Council.


Dr Jula Hughes

Dr Hughes is a full professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of New Brunswick. She currently holds a prestigious two-year appointment as University Research Scholar and is the principal investigator on a SSHRC and Status of Women Canada funded research and community action collaboration titled “Looking out for each other,” a capacity-building project by, with and for Indigenous communities and Aboriginal organizations that supports families and friends of missing persons.

She is the author of 24 peer-reviewed publications, and she has participated in numerous international and national conferences as invited speaker, convener, presenter, panel organizer and discussant.

Dr Hughes was appointed as Assistant Professor in 2006, promoted to Associate Professor in 2011, tenured in 2012 and promoted to professor in 2017. Prior to her appointment at UNB, she practised labour and human rights law in Ottawa. In 1999- 2000, she clerked for justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada.

A recipient of UNB Law’s Teaching Excellence award in 2016, she currently teaches Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Jurisprudence. In the past, she has also taught Foundations, Public Law, Labour Law, Labour Arbitration, Human Rights Law, Wrongful Convictions and Advanced Criminal Procedure. She is the chair of the Law Faculty Experiential Learning and TRC committees and has participated in and/or chaired a wide variety of faculty committees.

Dr Hughes has served the university community as elected senator-at-large and member of the Research Ethics Board. She served as president and chief negotiator of the faculty association (for which she was awarded the CAUT Dedicated Service Award). Her contributions to faculty labour relations included membership in the task force on mandatory retirement and the renegotiation of UNB’sshared pension plan.

Her contributions to the legal community include serving as regional coordinator and senior advocacy advisor of the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute, vice-president of the Fredericton Legal Advice Clinic, and corporate secretary of the Canadian Association for LegalEthics. She was co-chair of a provincial inquiry into New Brunswick’s legal aid system. Further, she is a frequent contributor to judicial and continuing legal education conferences and the chair of the RCMP national advisory committee on witness protection. She is the co-editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Law and Society and she was a member of the executive and grant adjudication committees of the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network (Atlantic), SSHRC adjudicator and frequent peer reviewer.