Senwung Luk is a Partner at OKT. He has appeared in different levels of court and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada and various courts of appeal, representing Indigenous clients fighting for their rights. He specializes in the protection of sacred spaces and cultural sites, in asserting treaty rights, in on-reserve service delivery, and in the duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous communities. He is also an expert in the Crown's fiduciary obligations to Indigenous peoples and has published in peer-reviewed academic journals on that topic.
Senwung received his J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, where he won awards for highest standing in Aboriginal law, civil liberties, and constitutional law courses. He served as law clerk to Mr. Justice John Evans of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada. Senwung also received a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford, where he wrote a master’s dissertation on the constitutional protection of Aboriginal self-government rights. Senwung did his undergraduate studies at Yale University, where he received a B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics.
While in law school, Senwung took part in the Intensive Program on Aboriginal Lands, Resources, and Governments, where he worked on a team negotiating a self-government agreement as part of a modern treaty. He was also a senior editor at the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.
Senwung is a member of the Ontario bar.
- Lead counsel for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in an intervention before the Public Utilities Board that secured a discounted Hydro rate for on-reserve residents
- Represented the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs before the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the duties of the Crown to protect Indigenous lands
- Represented the Shibogama First Nations Council in the Supreme Court of Canada, in defence of the protection of Indigenous sacred spaces as Charter rights
- Represented the Innu Nation before the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Utilities Board to ensure fair electricity rates for their communities
- Represented the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation before the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in defence of their right to be consulted about energy projects that affect their harvesting rights
- Led the expert selection process for a large land claim litigation
- With Brooke Barrett, "Time is on Our Side: Colonialism through laches and limitations of actions in the age of reconciliation" in Special Lectures 2017: Canada at 150: The Charter and the Constitution" (Law Society of Upper Canada, 2017)
- With Krista Nerland, "SCC says failure to create reserve a breach of fiduciary duty in divided decision", OKT Blog.
- With Krista Nerland, "Supreme Court: Charter does not protect Ktunaxa sacred site", OKT Blog.
- "TRC@1: Gratitude for the invitation to the Treaty relationship", OKT Blog, May 26, 2016
- "Traditional Knowledge collection, confidentiality, and ownership: some issues to consider", OKT Blog, May 18, 2016
- "Ditching the doctrine of discovery (and what that means for Canadian law)", OKT Blog, November 30, 2015
- "SCC case will affect expert witnesses in Aboriginal rights cases (WBLI v Abbott and Haliburton)", OKT Blog, May 27, 2015
- "Bill C-51 could be a blank cheque to the government to stifle Indigenous dissent", with Michael McClurg, OKT Blog, February 10, 2015
- “The Law of the Land: New Jurisprudence on Aboriginal Title“, The Supreme Court Law Review v. 67, 2014
- "The Tsilhqot'in Decisions and Indigenous Law on Sacred Spaces", OKT Blog, December 9, 2014
- "Court to Crown: Please stop making excuses for not fulfilling your treaty obligations", OKT Blog, August 27, 2014
- "Supreme Court releases decision in Keewatin", with Cathy Guirguis, OKT Blog, July 11, 2014
- “In a first for a Canadian court, SCC recognizes Aboriginal title for Tsilhqot’in Nation” (with Andrea Bradley), OKT Blog Post, June 26, 2014
- “Sacred places in the Treaty Relationship“, presentation to As Long as the Rivers Flow, treaty rights conference 2014
- “A De-Spirited Land: Recent jurisprudence on Aboriginal title“, presentation to Osgoode Constitutional Cases Conference 2014, April 2014.
- Guest Lecturer in Access to Justice, “Aboriginal Law Litigation”, February 2014, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law.
- “Ahousaht decision affirming Aboriginal fishing rights stands”, OKT Blog Post, January 30, 2014.
- Guest Lecturer in Osgoode Professional development LLM Course on Aboriginal Communities and Resource Development, “Aboriginal Title”, January 2014.
- “Fraser Institute to First Nations: Just be glad it’s not 1947”, OKT Blog Post, December 12, 2013.
- “BC Court of Appeal affirms Aboriginal commercial fishing rights”, OKT Blog Post, July 5, 2013.
- “Looking at ‘justified infringement’ and pipelines”, OKT Blog Post, April 18, 2013.
- “The upcoming Supreme Court of Canada case on Aboriginal title”, OKT Blog Post, January 25, 2013.
- Senwung Luk, “Not So Many Hats: The Crown’s Fiduciary Obligations to Aboriginal Communities since Guerin” (2013) 76:1 Sask L Rev.
- Senwung Luk “Justified Infringement: a Minimal Impairment Approach” (2013) 25 J Envtl L & Prac 169.
- Guest Lecturer in Property Law, “Aboriginal Title”, 2010 – 2013, Osgoode Hall Law School.
- Presentation, “Justified Infringement: A Minimal Impairment Approach”, May 2012, Journal of Environmental Law Conference.
- Senwung Luk (with F. Ahmed), “How Religious Arbitration Could Enhance Personal Autonomy” (2012) Oxford J of L & Rel 1
- Senwung Luk (with F. Ahmed), “Religious Arbitration: A Study of Legal Safeguards“ (2011) 77 Arbitration 290.
- Senwung Luk, “Confounding Concepts: Judicial recognition of the constitutional protection of the Aboriginal right to self-government in Canada” (2010) 41:1 Ottawa L Rev.
- Senior Editor, Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2005-2006) Osgoode Hall LJ.