‘The Impact of Pro Bono on Transformational Change’

The 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference (August 31 – September 1), and other side access to justice related events (dates to be determined), are being organized by BABSEACLE and its regional and global Consortium partners. This impactful, regionally developed and guided Conference is being coordinated and held side by side with the PILnet 3rd Asia Pro Bono Forum (August 29-30).  Collectively the Conference and Forum is being referred to as the Asia Pro Bono Exchange (August 29 – September 1).  The theme of this year’s 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference is “The Impact of Pro Bono on Transformational Change“.

The primary objective of the 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference is to supports the development of socially aware, ethical lawyers and non-lawyers to actively participate, advocate and lead pro bono initiatives as a means to strengthen access to justice on behalf of people in fragile or vulnerable situations. During the Conference the aim is to instill in the participants the knowledge, skills and values necessary for being a good lawyer, socially aware and committed to ensure access to justice for the less privileged.

Bali, Indonesia has been selected for the location for the 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference because of the strong interest expressed by our Indonesian partners to host the event there. There are several organisations in Indonesia providing free legal services, and working upon improving the legal system and legal education system with the overall goal of improving access to justice for all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Some of our Indonesian partners include; The Open Society Foundations, Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (Yayasan LBH Indonesia or YLBHI), Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (‘LBH’ Jakarta), Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice and Legal Aid Institute (LBH-APIK), Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) and the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Justice(AIPJ).

The 4th Asia Pro Bono Conference and Legal Ethics Forum in Mandalay last year was a huge success and we hosted over 230 participants from more than 19 countries. The impact of this event in Myanmar has been long lasting and very positive, not only did it allow local Myanmar Lawyers and others working in the justice sector to gain knowledge of global pro bono initiatives, share experiences, and network with internationals working in this field, but it also helped to strengthen the legal profession within Myanmar by creating a closer network of pro bono lawyers. Furthermore, the event also offered an opportunity for persons around the region and globally, to join together and share best pro bono and legal ethics practices in an engaging and interactive way. These participants have then gone onto putting into practice the lessons learned at the 4APCBLEF, and we are looking forward to having some of those participants at the 5APBC to report and share the impact that last year’s event had upon their work.

During the Conference there will be discussion on what is change and what does change mean for lawyers and how this leads to transformational change. There will be an exchange of inspirational practices and experiences and out forward on the different methods and belief/ethics that participants of the Conference are guided in doing pro bono.  This could be legal aid, or social justice lawyering or even just doing pro bono because they believe it should be mandatory. There will be a discussion on the Intersection of Pro Bono, Legal Aid and Social Justice Lawyering and how collectively these mechanisms can be utilised to promote rule of law and ensure equal access to justice for all.  In light of the recently revised Sustainable development Goals, especially with regards to goal 16, there will be discussions on how pro bono initiatives can help to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

We hope that you will join us and join the Asia pro bono movement.

To register and find out more please visit the Conference website.