Alberta Justice and Solicitor General, Edmonton Prosecutions, Edmonton
My name is Sony Ahluwalia and I bring rich and diverse work/life experiences. Born and raised in Uganda and later in London, England, I moved to Canada to complete my post-secondary education including my LLB. I returned to work in England conducting refugee appeals, teaching paralegals, and developing training materials for immigration appeals as counsel in conjunction with Amnesty International. I returned to Canada for articling.
I articled and worked at a large law firm, followed by working as a sole practitioner in a small town in British Columbia. I was fortunate to work with the Federal Department of Justice as counsel 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 at various Residential Schools in Alberta. Later, I took the opportunity to work at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa on two national security inquiries. The second part of the Arar Inquiry, involving the detention and deportation of Mr. Arar from the United States to Syria, with Commissioner O’Connor, and the Internal Inquiry, dealing with the detention and torture of three Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt, with Commissioner Iacobucci.
For the last 12 years, I have worked as a crown prosecutor with the provincial government and currently an Assistant Chief Crown prosecutor with Alberta Justice in Edmonton. In addition to the in-house training, courses through the law society, and training through Osgoode Professional, I completed my LLM at Osgoode in Criminal Law and Procedure. My experience and education have provided much insight into emerging issues faced by the legal community, and society in general. These have become important to me in light of my past experiences, and together with my involvement as an avid community volunteer, provided greater insight into the experience of the marginalized members of our society.
My goal to serve as a Bencher with the Law Society stems from my passion for justice, fairness, equality, and community service. Over the years I served on several community boards; health council, family centre, victim services and sexual assault centre to name a few. For the last few years, I have mentored Criminology programme students from the University of Alberta. I have presented at training for police officers, and to volunteers at victim services and sexual assault centres dealing with sexual violence. I present at high school classes topics of religion, working as a Crown prosecutor, and sexual violence – specifically the issue of consent in sexual assault. I have worked with members of my faith community to serve at inner city shelters and served as an electoral officer at my Gurdwara. As a Bencher I would offer a unique and inclusive perspective in any forum.
My work in the community 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.