I bring a rich and diverse work/life experience, including my work as a bencher over the last three years. Volunteering as a Bencher has been eye-opening and humbling. The opportunity to serve my professional community raised my awareness of the issues facing lawyers, particularly support for those in the early years of their practice. I seek my second term as a Bencher with enthusiasm and momentum, to serve legal professionals with compassion and integrity.
Born in Uganda, I spent my early years there and later in England, moving to Canada to complete my post-secondary education including my LLB. Later, I worked in England conducting refugee appeals, teaching paralegals, and developing training materials for refugee appeals. I returned to Canada for articling.
I articled and worked at a large law firm, followed by working as a sole practitioner in British Columbia. I joined the Federal Department of Justice in Indian Residential Schools litigation (IRS), where I led the dispute resolution group, conducted discoveries, and prepared opinions for resolution of IRS claims. I had the privilege of listening to Indigenous survivors share their stories and experiences from across Alberta. Later, I took the opportunity to work at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa on two national security inquiries – part II of the Arar Inquiry, involving the detention and deportation of Mr. Arar from the United States to Syria; and the Internal Inquiry, dealing with the detention and torture of three Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt.
For the last 16 years, I have worked as a crown prosecutor and currently am a Deputy Chief Crown prosecutor with Alberta Justice in Edmonton. I completed an LLM at Osgoode in Criminal Law and Procedure. In addition, I continue learning through in-house training, courses offered by LESA, and Osgoode Professional Development.
My broader life experience and education have provided much insight into the issues faced by society in general. These have become important to me in light of my life experiences, and together with my involvement as a dedicated community volunteer, provided greater insight into the experience of the marginalized members of our society.
Over the years I have served on several community boards; health council, family centre, victim services and sexual assault centre to name a few. I have supported members of my faith community and served at inner city shelters. For the last few years, I have mentored students studying Criminology at U of A. I present at training sessions for police officers, volunteers at victim services and sexual assault centres, dealing with legal issues involving sexual violence. I have presented at high school classes on topics of religion, sexual violence, and the work of a Crown prosecutor.
My volunteer work provides perspective for my “day job”. My faith and family allow me to maintain my sense of balance and ground me in what is important in life. My goal to continue serving as a Bencher stems from my passion for justice, fairness, equality, and community service.