The Law Foundation of Ontario will honour Windsor Law professor Reem Bahdi as the 2017 recipient of the Guthrie Award in recognition of her significant contributions to access to justice.
Bahdi, associate dean at Windsor Law from 2012 to 2015 and Canada’s first tenured Palestinian-Canadian law professor, has dedicated her career and life to furthering access to justice locally and globally. Her research focuses on human rights of Arabs and Muslims in Canada and Palestinian judicial education and informs national and international policy discussion.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. UWindsor president Alan Wildeman nominated Bahdi for the award and testifies that “she has lived and breathed access to justice, and is a role model to the students, scholars, and profession.”
Her work has steered transformative developments to the Palestinian justice system, developed a model for judicial education to advance human rights in West Bank and helped form Windsor Law’s mandatory course in access to justice.
“I am inspired regularly by colleagues and students at the University of Windsor,” says Bahdi. “My biggest inspiration has been my mother. She raised three children as a single mother and taught us the value of hard work, community, and commitment. I hope to one day live up to her example.”
Dean of law Christopher Waters says that even in a school that emphasizes access to justice as a primary institutional theme, Bahdi stands out as a leading light.
“Her contributions to legal education are multi-faceted,” he says. “From innovative teaching to mentoring, and from cutting-edge research to equity-led administrative service, Professor Bahdi has been in the forefront of not only interrogating access to justice on a theoretical plane, but in making our institutional theme a lived one for faculty, staff, and students.”
The foundation will present Bahdi with an engraved medal at a reception in her honour later this year.