Spotlight on the Chair: Interview with Jean-Frédéric Hübsch

  • 05 décembre 2022
  • Laura Pettigrew






I had the pleasure recently of sitting down virtually with Jean-Frédéric Hübsch, the current Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Child and Youth Law Executive Committee and former Chair of the Education Law Executive Committee. Our discussion ranged over many topics, from an exploration of what initially motivated him to pursue a legal career to his current academic interests relating to child-centered decision-making within the education system.   

Jean-Frédéric told me that even as a child he had an interest in the law. He wanted to gain a better understanding about how law structures our interactions and influences our lives. His personal experience assisting others with the challenges in the long-term care and health systems also fueled his drive to enter the profession and work towards positive systemic change.  

Before applying to McGill University Law School, Jean-Frédéric spent nearly a decade in the federal government, working in program operations, communications, and policy. It was through his work in the public sector that he was first introduced to the world of administrative law. After Jean-Frédéric graduated law school, he put his education and past experience in administrative law to work, joining the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman in 2014 as an articling student. Following articling, he joined the Office as counsel.

Jean-Frédéric explained that when in September 2015 the Office’s jurisdiction expanded to include oversight of school boards, he became the “go to” counsel in this area: researching and following developments in education law and tackling complex cases. He noted that during this period, he worked to resolve concerns about the education system and frequently heard from parents, educators, administrators, and elected officials. However, he was often left asking himself, “where is the child in all of this?”

In May 2019, when the Ombudsman’s Office took on the investigative function of the former Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Jean-Frédéric was able to explore the law applying to services provided by children’s aid societies and residential licensees. He noted that one issue that resonated with him was the fact that while the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child was specifically incorporated into child protection legislation, it was not expressly reflected in other areas of the law impacting children.