A Strong Voice for Justice: Celebrating Bob H. Aloneissi, Q.C.'s career and commitment to public service

Aloneissi recognized for his commitment to social justice, philanthropy and support of law students with a University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award.

Law Communications - 27 September 2016

The University of Alberta Alumni Awards recognize the professional achievements, community service and innovation of graduates around the globe - people who uphold the promise to use their education "for the public good." This year, 27 people were honoured at an evening ceremony at the Jubilee Auditorium on September 22, 2016. Four of these award recipients - including Bob Aloneissi, Q.C. - are Faculty of Law alumni. Mr. Aloneissi was recognized with the Alumni Honour Award, which celebrates the significant contributions made over a number of years by University of Alberta alumni to their profession, their community, to society at large, or to the University of Alberta.

Bob Aloneissi, Q.C., ('87 LLB) is a strong voice for justice both inside and outside the courtroom; someone who has devoted his career and significant community contributions to "uplifting the whole people." A dual degree holder in Arts and Law from the University of Alberta, Mr. Aloneissi is one of Alberta's leading criminal lawyers and, since 2010, a sessional instructor at the Faculty of Law in the area of criminal trial procedure.

Throughout his 30-year career, Mr. Aloneissi has led many initiatives founded on the principles of social justice and equality, both within the University of Alberta community and, more broadly, throughout the city and province. In the aftermath of 9/11, he was among a group of concerned citizens who founded the Phoenix Multi-Faith Society for Harmony, designed to promote peaceful resolution of disputes and harmony among Edmonton's diverse communities. He is also involved in the Victim Offender Rehabilitative Dialogue (VORD) project, a restorative justice project that seeks to afford victims of crime and offenders the opportunity to meet in a safe environment to explore the aftermath of the crime and understand the impact it has on all parties, with a focus on offender accountability, empathy for victims, and repairing harm. In 2005, Mr. Aloneissi was recognized with the Alberta Centennial Medal, and a group of his friends and colleagues established the Aloneissi-Gower Pro Bono Community Service Award - open to law students at the Faculty of Law who demonstrate a commitment to community service - in his name.

"Bob Aloneissi has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, the legal profession, and the community," said Dean Paul Paton. "As one of Alberta's top criminal lawyers, Mr. Aloneissi understands the responsibility that lawyers have to serve, and he exemplifies that every day. His history of volunteerism at the University of Alberta began when he was a student at the Faculty of Law with Student Legal Services and continues to the present day as he mentors law students. Not only do our students benefit from Mr. Aloneissi's teaching, but our competitive moot team in criminal law also benefits from the sponsorship and unpaid coaching provided by his firm, Beresh Aloneissi O'Neill Hurley O'Keeffe & Millsap."

At a lunchtime reception at the Law Centre on September 22 for the four Faculty of Law recipients of 2016 University of Alberta Alumni Awards, Mr. Aloneissi told the assembled crowd that "each and every one of you has a unique passion and gift, and I encourage you to channel those passions and use those gifts for the greater good."

"Mr. Aloneissi's work promoting social justice and peaceful dispute resolution in the community, not to mention his commitment to clients and law students are what make him such a wonderful ambassador for the Faculty of Law and indeed the entire legal profession," said Dean Paton. "At the Faculty, we are grateful that he shares his expertise with our students both inside and outside the classroom, and we thank him for his continued support."