The Honourable Shirzad S. Ahmed

The Honourable Shirzad S. Ahmed

Credit: Balfour

Justice Shirzad S. Ahmed was appointed to the Federal Court on September 14, 2017. He was born in Kirkuk, Southern Kurdistan and lived in the Middle East and Europe before coming to Canada as a refugee in 1984. He attended University College of the Fraser Valley (now University of the Fraser Valley) and Simon Fraser University, from which he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1996. In 2000, Justice Ahmed obtained a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Calgary.

Prior to his appointment, Justice Ahmed was a sole practitioner in Calgary, practiced exclusively in the areas of immigration, refugee, human rights and civil liberties.

Justice Ahmed is dedicated to the pursuit of social justice. He is a strong advocate for the protection of human rights internationally, and is invested in mentoring students and junior members of the legal profession in the areas of immigration, refugee, human rights and civil liberties such that Canada will continue to set the standard for global human rights practices. Justice Ahmed equally believes in the importance of community service. He acted as a student advocate for students in need at both the University of the Fraser Valley and Simon Fraser University; he served as a member of the Board of Governors at the University of the Fraser Valley, appointed as community representative by the Province of British Columbia; and served as a member of the Board of Directors for Fig Tree Foundation, a Calgary-based non-profit organization seeking to assist and coordinate international humanitarian relief.

In 2009, Justice Ahmed was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence, Alberta’s highest award. In 2008, he received the Canadian Bar Association and the Law Society of Alberta Distinguished Service Award for Pro Bono Legal Service. He is the recipient of several honours from the University of the Fraser Valley, including the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011, Top 40 Alumni Award in 2014, and a Doctor of Laws Degree (honoris causa) for his dedication in defence of human rights in 2015. Justice Ahmed is fluent in several languages.

In 2023, Justice Ahmed was elected to serve as the President for the Americas Chapter of the International Association of Refugee and Migration Judges (IARMJ).  As President of this Chapter, he also serves on the Management Board of the Global IARMJ.

Date modified: 2024-05-27

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