Valerie Hughes is an instructor in International Trade Law Practicum at the Queen's University Faculty of Law.

Valerie Hughes served as Director of the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from 2010 to 2016 and as Director of the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat from 2001 to 2005. Valerie also spent 22 years with the Government of Canada, during which time she held various positions, including Assistant Deputy Minister at the Department of Finance, General Counsel of the Trade Law Division at Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and Senior Counsel in the International Law Division of the Department of Justice. Valerie has served as counsel for Canada and litigated before international courts and tribunals on trade law, investment law, and law of the sea matters.

She has published several articles and chapters on WTO law and dispute settlement as well as on maritime boundary disputes. Valerie was recently awarded the John E. Read Medal by the Canadian Council on International Law for her “distinguished contribution to international law and organisations”.


  • International trade law
  • International dispute settlement

Recent Accomplishments:

  • John E. Read Medal for distinguished contribution to international law and organisations, 2016

Recent Publications:

  • “The Role of the Legal Adviser in the World Trade Organisation” in The Role of Legal Advisers in International Law (Brill, 2016)
  • “WTO rule-making: WTO Accession Protocols and jurisprudence” in WTO Accessions and Trade Multilateralism: Case Studies and Lessons for the WTO at Twenty (Cambridge University Press, 2015)
  • “Some Thoughts on Food Security and the Law of the World Trade Organisation” with Daniel Ari Baker in (2015) 11 Journal of International Law and International Relations Issue 2 (University of Toronto Faculty of Law)
  • “Working in WTO dispute settlement: pride without prejudice” in A History of Law and Lawyers in the GATT/WTO, (Cambridge University Press, June 2015)
  • “WTO and Trade in Natural Resources” with Gabrielle Marceau in International Law and Fresh Water: The Multiple Challenges(Edward Elgar, 2013)
  • "The Institutional Dimension" in The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (Oxford University Press, 2009)