A children’s rights-based approach to fairness in school decision-making

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 12:30to13:30

Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law 2022 Summer Seminars
With Jean-Frédéric Hübsch - PhD Student, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa 


Democracy implies both citizen participation in the life of the state and that the state is accountable to citizens for its actions. Public schools in Canada are, among other things, intended to help socialize children into democratic society. However, the processes that govern decision-making in schools are generally designed by and for adults, and often disregard children’s experiences as citizens in society. What, then, might child-focused decision-making processes look like in the public education context? 

This seminar explores public schools as statutory bodies with a duty to act fairly, places for experiencing rights, and environments for children’s participation in democratic society. It will begin with an examination of administrative law and of administrative justice in public education (mostly in Ontario, with some comparisons to Quebec and British Columbia). It will then look to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as a starting point for a children’s rights-based approach to decision-making in schools. It will conclude on an interdisciplinary note by touching on pedagogical theories that could support educators in ensuring their decision-making respects children’s rights. 

About the speaker

Jean-Frédéric Hübsch is a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law and is a member of the University’s Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory on the Rights of the Child. His doctoral research lies at the intersection of administrative law, democratic pedagogies, and rights-respecting research with children. 

Prior to his doctoral studies, Jean-Frédéric spent five years as counsel at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman, where his work focused on reviewing and investigating complaints from the public relating to education, municipalities, administrative tribunals, child welfare, and French-language services. He remains an active member of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Law and Education Law sections. 

Jean-Frédéric holds a B.C.L./LL.B. from McGill University (where he had the great pleasure of working at the Crépeau Centre), a LL.M. in administrative law from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a B.A. and M.A. in translation from the University of Ottawa. He is a licensee (non-practicing) of the Law Society of Ontario and a certified French-to-English translator in Ontario and Quebec. Before studying law, he spent nearly a decade working for the federal public service in Ottawa.

Zoom link. 

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