Speak Truth to Power

“Have I not seen secret malignance strike down the helpless under cover of hypocritical might?”

“Have I not heard the silenced voice of justice weeping in solitude at might’s defiant outrages?”

These words written decades ago, by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, continue to resonate powerfully sixty years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Injustice, inequality, discrimination, abuse of power, denial of rights, and mass violations of human rights continue.

In advanced liberal democracies, inequality increases and discrimination becomes more sophisticated and thus insidious. Around the globe, human indignity and suffering proliferates in a world of plenty. Our ability to know what is going on has never been greater. And yet, poverty and human rights abuses – individual and mass in scale – occur with all too common and apathetic frequency.

In 1963, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. published, “Why We Can’t Wait.” Speak truth to power – this is what brave men and women have done throughout history. It is what we must do – to close the gap between rhetoric and reality. We Can’t Wait.

I am motivated by the possibility of committed work, work begun by institutions, citizens organizations, NGO’s, independent media, and legal advocacy to contribute to public reasoning, ask questions, help others – to a global civil society. Louise Arbour (former UNHCR) has said:

“Human rights work is like cleaning your house. You don’t do it once

and say ‘That’s it.’ It’s day to day, part of our humanity.”

Each one of us bears responsibility to be our brother and sisters keeper. We must overcome the indifference and act. My commitment is to use advocacy and the law as a force for good – recognizing the legal system itself is challenged with inequality and many blind spots. Speak truth to Power!


Bill Sundhu

Bill Sundhu at St. Pauls Cathedral Kamloops Lenten Lecture Series

Bill Sundhu

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."



2014 – Certificate, French Honours Program
Institute for American Universities (IAU) Aix-en-Provence, France

2011 – Certificate, Negotiation Workshop
Harvard Institute of Negotiation, Harvard Law School

2010 – Masters Studies in International Human Rights Law
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Dissertation – Terrorism Trials and the Judiciary: Does Diversity Matter?

1988 – Certificat d’Etudes Francaises, Institute Universitaire Americain
Centre d’Avignon, France
French Language Studies

1984 – Call to the Bar, Supreme Court of British Columbia
Call to the Bar and admission as Barrister & Solicitor of Supreme Court of British Columbia

1983 – Bachelors of Laws, University of Windsor
Windsor, Ontario

1980 – Bachelors of Arts, International Relations, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia

Biography profile

Bill Sundhu is a Canadian lawyer and former judge with more than 30 years of experience in the courts of justice.

His current practice includes trial and appellate advocacy in criminal justice, human rights and civil liberties. Bill has broad legal experience that includes criminal justice, family law, child and youth law, indigenous rights, police misconduct and wrongful deaths, non-discrimination, access to justice, law reform and legislation, professional legal responsibility, and judicial independence and administration.

He is a regular speaker, lecturer and media commentator on human rights, justice, diversity, equality and international legal issues.   He has extensive knowledge of the Canadian justice system and international human rights law, with particular interest in international criminal law.

Bill has three university degrees, including a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law from Oxford University. He practices in Canadian and International Law.

His work is recognized by appointment to the List of Counsel for the International Criminal Court in the Hague (war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity) and selection to a panel of international experts to train judges in Tunisia, in 2013-14 in human rights and administration of justice. He has served an extensive term as an Executive Member of the Canadian Bar Association National Criminal Law Subsection.

Bill is a founding member of the BC Association of Multicultural Societies and is an advocate for equality and diversity. He and his family have made Kamloops, British Columbia, their home for the past 20 years.

Nationality: Canadian
Languages: English, French (conversational), Punjabi (spoken)

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