Bill Flanagan holds a J.D. from the University of Toronto (1985), a D.E.A. in international economic law from Paris I (Université Paris I-Sorbonne)(1986), and an LL.M. from Columbia University (1989). He has been a member of the Faculty of Law at Queen's University for the past 25 years and was appointed Dean of Law in 2005. In 2013, he was reappointed for a third five-year term. He was a law clerk for the Hon. Justice Estey of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1986-87.
His teaching interests include International Economic Law, Business Associations, and Property Law. His scholarly work spans a number of areas, including property law, business law and trade law. He served as Co-Chair of the Queen's Annual Business Law Symposium from 1998-2005.
In 2001, he founded the Faculty’s Global Law Programs, offered each spring at the Queen’s University Bader International Study Centre at Herstmonceaux Castle in the UK. The program includes about 50 law students and offers a range of courses in public international law and international business law, including study trips to major international organizations in The Hague, Paris and Geneva. He continues to teach International Economic Law in the program.
He served as President of the Council Canadian of Law Deans (CCLD) from 2011 to 2014, representing the CCLD during the public controversy regarding the application of Trinity Western University to establish a law school.
As Dean, he has increased the range of experiential learning opportunities available to students by expanding the law school’s clinical programs, adding a new Business Law Clinic, Elder Law Clinic, and Family Law Clinic. In 2014, all five of the school’s clinical programs collocated for the first time into a fully renovated office space in downtown Kingston. The new location has provided improved access for the hundreds of low-income residents served by the clinics and enhanced learning opportunities for students.
He also took the lead in founding the law school’s first privately funded research centre, the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace. He has raised over $1 million in donor support for the Centre since it was established in 2010.
Other milestones include the establishment of the Faculty’s Ph.D. program in 2008, new combined degree programs with the Smith School of Business and the Department of Economics, and a major expansion of the Faculty’s international programs and profile. Annual donor support for the Faculty has more than quadrupled during his tenure as Dean. During the recent $500 million Campaign for Queen’s 2006-2016, the Faculty of Law raised over $12 million, 120% of its campaign goal.
Recognizing a desire among many students for more opportunities to study law as part of their undergraduate studies, under his leadership the Faculty of Law is developing a unique range of new undergraduate law courses. The cornerstone course, Law 201, Introduction to Canadian Law, was introduced in 2014/15. Redesigned as a fully blended course, over 700 undergraduate students at Queen’s enrolled in this course in 2015/16. Plans are now underway to launch a new undergraduate Certificate in Law program in September 2016 which will include the addition of three more courses in Canadian law: Aboriginal Law, Workplace Law, and Business Law. Longer-term plans include adding the delivery of the Certificate in Law entirely online.
He served as the law school representative on the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, under the leadership of Chief Justice McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada. The Committee’s final report was published in 2013.
He has also been active in the area of community service. He served as Chair of the Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto from 1993-1995, Canada’s largest community-based HIV service organization. He served as Chair of the Board of the Ontario HIV Treatment Network from 2003-2008, a provincially funded organization that supports HIV-related research in Ontario with an annual budget of over $11M. He also served part-time as Executive Director of the Canada AIDS Russia Project from 1998-2004, a $3.3 million research and training project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. In recognition of his community service, in 2011 he was named to the Honour Roll of the Ontario AIDS Network. In 2014, he was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.