The Honourable Justice Robert Hyslop (BA ’69) is the recipient of the 2013 Judge J Elliott Hudson Distinguished Alumnus Award. He graduated from King’s with a BA in history in 1969 and then pursued law at Dalhousie Law School, graduating in 1973. He was also admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1973. He received a master of laws in criminology and criminal justice from the University of London, England, in 2007.
During his King’s years, Bob was an active member of Cochran Bay and was enrolled in the University Reserve Training Program. He was commissioned as a pilot officer and served as a lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Air Force at CFB Halifax, 1969-70. In the early 1970s he served with the Judge Advocates Generals Office in Ottawa. He continued his association with the Armed Forces and was appointed lieutenant commander of the Navy in 1986 and commander in 1994, at the same time as taking up his duties as a military trial judge.
Following his graduation from law school, Bob married Marie Kavanagh in 1974 and took up his law practice in St John’s, NL, in 1975. He was the assistant director of public prosecutions in 1981 and in 1985 he was appointed director of public prosecutions and associate deputy attorney general with the Newfoundland and Labrador government under Justice Minister Lynn Verge. He was appointed to Queen’s Council in 1988 and as a judge of Provincial Court in 1989.
Bob has been an active member of the Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges and served a term as president of the association, starting in 2003. He served as a member of the Canadian delegation to the sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders in Venezuela, and in 2007 he participated in the review of recently-enacted criminal justice reforms in two Mexican states. The Rule of Law USAID/Mexico organisation sponsored this project.
As a youth court judge in the early 1990s, Judge Hyslop was well known with the youth court workers for his commitment to justice and the reintegration of young offender into society. His sentencing considered their education and their future. He went out of his way to learn more about the education system and his sentencing reflected what the young people need to help them graduate.
During his busy career, Bob decided to become bilingual and dedicated many hours to learning French. He is also a dedicated runner. He has competed in 27 marathons and countless shorter distances. Post-retirement, Bob continues to serve the justice system as a supernumerary judge in St John’s.