122 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
trative law course that he met his future wife, Aamna, a brilliant legal mind
in her own right. Together, they have two beautiful young boys who, like
their parents, are social-minded and bilingual.
Peter maintained access to justice as the focus of his legal career well
beyond his early years of practice. Until the day his appointment to the B.C.
Supreme Court was announced, a considerable portion of Peter’s clientele
either was on legal aid or received his services pro bono. In deciding
whether to take on a file, the financial resources of potential clients were
invariably the last consideration. With the support of a remarkable paralegal,
a committed office manager and several capable legal assistants, Peter’s
office organically expanded over the years until he found himself at the
head of a team of dedicated lawyers.
His adversaries knew they were in for a fight and often described him as
a formidable advocate, if not a major pain in the ass. In addition to his tenacity
and dedication to his work, Peter’s calm and friendly demeanour gained
him the respect and admiration of his colleagues on both sides of the fence.
Peter’s fascination with the law and his commitment to assisting some of
the most marginalized members of our society meant that seeing the bigger
picture and pushing for systemic change came naturally. Appearing before
the Supreme Court of Canada no fewer than six times, Peter’s work led to
major changes in Canadian immigration law. In 2015, Peter successfully led
the challenge at the Supreme Court of Canada to Canada’s human smuggling
provisions. The result was seen as a major victory by refugee advocates
across Canada, who were concerned that the law cast too wide a net,
capturing not only smugglers who acted for personal gain but also genuine
refugees assisting others in their own flight from persecution.
In addition to running his own busy practice, Peter sat on the litigation
committees for the Canadian Council of Refugees and the Canadian Association
of Refugee Lawyers. He also remained an active member of the CBA
for many years and an executive member of the immigration section. He
wrote and presented several oft-cited papers addressing various aspects of
refugee and immigration law, particularly where they intersected with
criminal law. His dedication to these areas of the law also led him to become
an expert in extradition matters and issues of national security. On several
occasions, he was invited to speak before Parliament on the issues of
national security and citizenship, both on behalf of the CBA and in his personal
capacity. Understanding the magnitude of these issues and the
impact that proposed changes to the legislation would have, Peter donated
countless hours of his own time to ensure that the voices of the under-
represented were heard by Canada’s lawmakers.