Reaching out: Justice for the underprivileged

A global non-profit network of lawyers launch an initiative, iProbono

Our Correspondent April 17, 2015
A global non-profit network of lawyers launch an initiative, iProbono. STOCK IMAGE

ISLAMABAD: A global non-profit network of lawyers, iProbono is preparing to launch its network in Pakistan. The network’s global outreach enables individuals and projects across the world to source legal assistance across jurisdictions, with funding from the Ford Foundation and the Commonwealth.

iProbono hosted its preliminary roundtable meeting at Jinnah Institute on Thursday aiming to connect civil society groups, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, and activists — who are in need of legal assistance — with lawyers and law students who wish to use their legal skills for the public good for free.

The roundtable meeting, “Lawyers for Change”, was to explain the work of iProbono and to discuss the scope of pro-bono legal services. The iProbono team hopes to forge links to strengthen the culture of pro bono legal advice in Pakistan. The proper launch and legal workshops are to be planned later this year in Karachi and Lahore.

Speaking on the occasion, Pakistan Country Representative iProbono, Mariam Faruqi, expressed gratitude and  thanked the legal fraternity of Islamabad for their overwhelming support for iprobono’s initiative to set up a framework for providing free legal advice to those who cannot afford it.

She said that access to legal advice and representation is a founding principle for iprobono and was the backbone of any fair and equitable system of justice.

“Our efforts are, the first such steps in this direction in Pakistan, but we hope that by bringing together various legal initiatives there will be a widening of free legal advice and representation for those in need, in the short, medium and long term we hope that iprobono’s work will help to strengthen legal aid provisions in Pakistan and therefore strengthen the legal system of the country.”

The event was attended by prominent lawyers, legal advisors, law experts, members of civil society and NGOs.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015.



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