18 July 2012 at 11:55 BST

Aussies launch Asia-Pacific pro bono scheme

A scheme aimed at promoting lawyer pro bono work across the Asia-Pacific region launched yesterday in Australia.

Sydney: Regional pro bono push

Sydney: Regional pro bono push

The Centre for Asia-Pacific Pro Bono (CAPPB) is backed by Australia’s federal government and the Law Council of Australia (LCA) with the aim of providing a forum for government and private bodies in the region to contact Australian providers of free legal services. According to Lawyers Weekly, It is already accepting proposals from organisations requesting assistance.
Speaking at the Canberra launch, LCA’s Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said ‘The CAPPB will see Australian lawyers make a real difference in our region and extend legal services and support to those who most need it.’

Three projects

The council’s secretary-general, Professor Sally Walker, told the publication, Lawyer’s Weekly, that the centre already has eight Australian firms involved, and is working on three projects.
London-based firm Ashurst is supporting the work of Transparency International, an advocacy and legal advice centre in Vanuatu, the Victorian Bar is assisting the solicitor-general’s office in Papua New Guinea in providing training for its lawyers, and Anglo-US firm DLA Piper is providing one-on-one capacity building and mentoring for Nauru’s public defender programme.

Media campaign

More requests for assistance are expected, especially following the centre’s south-east Asia media campaign, which featured television and radio advertising.
Professor Walker commented: ‘It is through these kinds of constructive partnerships that we can all contribute to building stability in the region through better access to justice and ensuring the maintenance of the rule of law.


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