2019 APBC&A2JX, Nepal
In the past 10 years, I have been moved by the global movement to expand training and pro bono justice throughout the world. Personally, I have engaged with project partners like BABSEACLE, Women Lawyers Joining Hands, and the Nepal Bar Association (to name a few) to provide training to law students, lawyers, and legal service providers (LSPs) in Nepal, Laos and Myanmar. To help address some of the challenges facing LSPs during the pandemic, I help create and publish (with the Legal Empowerment Network and the Open Society Justice Initiative) a training manual titled: “Providing Legal Services Remotely: A Guide to Available Technologies and Best Practices.” The APBC and A2JX has been instrumental to this effort as it provides a platform to exchange ideas, expand programs, and meet future project partners.
– Andrew P. Valentine – DLA Piper/New Perimeter
Mohammed Rakinul Hakim
The training session webinar where I produced and coordinated a training for lawyers, paralegals and community based workers all over Bangladesh through zoom. It was a project I partnered with on behalf of BLAST with GIZ. For the training module, we had collated all the aspects related to domestic violence, rape, sexual assault within the legal frameworks of Bangladesh, condensed and made them into training modules. Trainees joined in from places as remote as Madaripur, Kushtia, Bogura,Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Mymensingh in Bangladesh. Throughout both the training sessions we have had more than 100 lawyers participate and almost 200 community workers/paralegals join in, over a span of 4 weeks.
As Part of the Trustee within the Al-Hakims Welfare Foundation, I helped coordinate with the local Chittagong Metropolitan Police and assisted in drafting an MOU between the parties on a probono basis and acting as counsel to Al Hakims Foundation, assisted in setting up the free Iftar project at the Chittagong Medical College Emergency Centre for all staff and patients during the month of Ramadan during Covid Lockdown. We managed to provide more than 200 meals a day for an entire month. This is a photo during distribution of the meals.
BABSEACLE, PILnet, LSPBS and i-pro bono, I am happy to see the pro bono culture growing in Southeast Asia and the region. From a time when lawyers and NGOs being puzzled by free legal services, to now seeing NGOs, legal service providers and different sized-firms coming together with a passion for pro bono to help vulnerable groups access justice, we have come a long way in the past years.
APBC&A2JX each year has been a wonderful platform to meet others passionate in pro bono in different countries. As a result, we have been connected with legal service providers in Mongolia, South Korea, Myanmar, Laos, Hong Kong, Taiwan and more, resulting in more fruitful collaborations with greater impact on access to justice causes.