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University of Windsor appoints first Arab woman, Palestinian as law dean

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 @ 2:07 PM | By Amanda Jerome

The University of Windsor announced Reem Bahdi will become the new Dean of the Faculty of Law as of July 1.

According to a news release, this is a “historic first for Canada” as Bahdi is “the first Arab woman and the first Palestinian appointed as Dean of a Faculty of Law in the country.”

“Bahdi has been a faculty member at Windsor Law since 2002 and served as Associate Dean from 2012 to 2015. She has also served on numerous university-wide committees, including Senate, the presidential search committee, and as chair of the Academic Discipline Committee and the Research Ethics Board,” the release noted.

“I am thrilled to help lead Windsor Law,” said Bahdi, in a statement.

“It is an institution that I care about deeply,” she added.

The release on her appointment as dean noted that in 2005 Bahdi “created the largest federally funded judicial education program in the Middle East and, over seven years, led an international team that helped introduce institutional reforms to advance human dignity in the administration of justice.”

The new dean is an “elected member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists and recipient of the Law Foundation of Ontario's Guthrie Medal for her access to justice contributions to the profession and people of Ontario,” the release added.

According to the University of Windsor’s website, Bahdi’s two areas of research are “the human rights dimensions of national security laws and policies in Canada” and “access to justice in the Palestinian context.”

Bahdi has received “teaching excellence awards from the Student Law Society on three occasions and has been involved with the academic development of the law school curriculum” and she has “engaged at numerous points on projects to advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, to efforts to decolonize the curriculum and to respond to anti-Black racism.”