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Queen's University

First PhD in Law granted

Professor Mark Walters & Peter Atupare

Photo by Aimee Burtch

Thesis supervisor Professor Mark Walters, Law '89, congratulates Peter Atupare, LLM '08, PhD '11, the Law Faculty’s first doctoral graduate.

Peter Atupare, LLM '08, made history this year. He became the first student to earn a doctoral degree from Queen’s Law, successfully defending his thesis, "Constitutional Justice in Africa: An Examination of Constitutional Positivism, Fundamental Law and Rights in Ghana and Nigeria."

“The examiners wrote glowing reports about Peter's work,” says his thesis supervisor, Professor Mark Walters, Law '89. “There was simply no doubt in their minds about the positive outcome of the oral defence. Peter handled the committee’s questions in an articulate, careful, and passionate way, with a sense of balance and, as always, a sense of humour, too."

Atupare, who has accepted an academic appointment in his homeland at the University of Ghana’s Law Faculty, is proud to be Queen’s University’s inaugural PhD graduate in Law.  Calling his years of hard work for both his LLM and PhD “the yoke of my dreams,” he adds that it was a rewarding experience to work with “accomplished scholars, who have great mentorship skills” and with a “great administration” in an environment of “community spirit. It is difficult, I think, to get a law school in North America that blends these features like Queen’s.”

Read the story, “Queen’s first PhD in Law,” by Meredith Dault at

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