Focus On

Queen’s names new law dean

Tuesday, April 02, 2019 @ 1:44 PM | By John Chunn


Queen’s University announced on March 28 that Mark Walters has been appointed as dean of the Faculty of Law for a five-year term effective July 1, 2019, succeeding Bill Flanagan.

According to the university’s press release, Walters, an alumnus and former faculty member of the Queen’s Faculty of Law, is currently the F.R. Scott chair in Public and Constitutional Law at McGill University where he researches and publishes in the areas of public and constitutional law, legal history and legal theory.

He is also a leading scholar on the rights of Indigenous peoples, with a special focus on treaty relations between the Crown and Indigenous nations. His work in this area has been cited by Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, as well as courts in Australia and New Zealand.

“Legal education and practice is poised for enormous change,” said Tom Harris, interim provost and vice-principal (academic). “Dr. Walters has a depth and breadth of experience in research, teaching and academic leadership that will enable Queen’s Law to continue its momentum as one of Canada’s leading law schools.”

Prior to joining McGill, Walters was a faculty member at Queen’s for 17 years, serving as the first associate dean (graduate studies and research) where he led the launch of the Queen’s doctoral program in law. He co-chaired the faculty’s strategic planning committee, and he wrote a detailed history of the Queen’s Faculty of Law as part of the faculty’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Before his tenure at Queen’s, Walters taught at Oxford University after practising law in the area of Aboriginal title and treaty rights.

Walters has a bachelor of arts (political science) from Western University, and is a graduate of Queen’s Law. He attended Oxford University on a Commonwealth Scholarship where he pursued graduate studies in law, completing his doctorate before being called to the Ontario bar.

Walters has held a number of research and visiting fellowships, including the Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship (SSHRC), the Sir Neil MacCormick Fellowship (University of Edinburgh), the Herbert Smith Fellowship (Cambridge University) and the H.L.A. Hart Fellowship (Oxford University). He is the recipient of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers’ Award for Academic Excellence (2006) and the Queen’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision (2012).

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to return to Queen’s to lead the law school in the next phase of its remarkable development,” said Walters. “It will be such a privilege to work with faculty, staff and students who are committed to excellence and innovation in legal education and research, and who are passionate about law’s promise in building a more just society.”

Principal Daniel Woolf made the offer of appointment, following a comprehensive search process chaired by Harris.