Ronald Poulton began work as a civil and criminal litigation lawyer in 1987 in Ottawa. In 1989 Poulton left his law practice to take up work for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Vietnamese refugee camps of Hong Kong. From Hong Kong he took up UN posts in Thailand and then Cambodia, where in 1992 he joined UNTAC, the largest and most ambitious peace- keeping operation in history. As a human rights lawyer for UNTAC Poulton was charged with investigating and formulating corrective action against political assassinations, ethnic cleansing, torture and other abuses committed by all sides to the Cambodian conflict. His final posting for the UN took him to Tajikistan, a country which had torn itself apart in a fierce and bitter civil war. As legal advisor to the peace keeping mission, Poulton witnessed the trial of 3 members of a fundamentalist army on trial for their lives over the killing of UN peace- keepers.
In Toronto, Poulton works as an immigration lawyer, where he has acted as counsel in some of the most infamous of cases. In 1996 he successfully defended Joseph Nemsila before the Immigration Adjudication Division, the first alleged Second World War war criminal in Canada facing deportation for allegations that he concealed his past. In 2001, in /Suresh v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration/, he successfully represented the appellant Suresh before the Supreme Court of Canada on the issue of whether Canada could forcibly deport an alleged terrorist to a country which would torture him.
Poulton’s first novel Battambang, published in Singapore in 2001, is a murder mystery set in French Colonial Cambodia in 1948. It was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize for best first book by a Candian author.
Poulton lives in Toronto with Antonia and his boys, Jack and Matthew.
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