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Marshalling pro bono support for justice and development

Graphic: Legal personnel

The APF has identified a range of opportunities for lawyers and legal firms in the region to assist the work of national human rights institutions.

On June 23-24, the Public Interest Law Network (PILnet) held its Annual Pro Bono Forum in Bangkok Thailand.

The Forum brings together law firms, lawyers, law schools, bar associations, NGOs and policy makers to explore how they can best collaborate to address some of the most pressing legal needs of the region's disadvantaged communities.

This year's program focused on the theme "pro bono for development and justice". Presentations focused on the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda, in particular:

  • Goal 10: to reduce inequality within and among countries, and
  • Goal 16: to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Discussions centred on how pro bono services, provided to a variety of stakeholders, could help facilitate development, through support for rule of law projects, policy and law reform, litigation and other assistance.

The opening session highlighted different opportunities for law firms to provide assistance at the domestic, regional and international levels, as well as examples of successful collaboration in previous years.

The APF participated in this plenary session, highlighting possibilities for pro bono assistance with national human rights institutions through the provision of legal and policy advice, as well as for support in relation to amicus curiae, intervenor and test case litigation.

We also drew attention to pro bono opportunities at the regional level, particularly the provision of support to the Advisory Council of Jurists in the development of its thematic reports.

The conference also examined the provision of pro bono services to vulnerable groups in the region, including women, children, asylum seekers and migrants.

More information about the conference is available at: http://www.probonoforum.org/asia/.

From 3-6 September 2015, the 4th Asia Pro Bono Conference & Legal Ethics Forum will explore "Pro Bono and Ethics Build a Noble Legal Profession". The conference will be held in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Date: 9 July 2015

Image credits

  1. Legal personnel - Public Interest Law Network (PILnet)