2020 APBVC&A2JX, Virtual Conference
Working in the pro bono team at Herbert Smith Freehills, I have led access to justice projects in the UK, Europe and Asia to ensure vulnerable individuals are able to understand and enforce their legal rights. Many of these initiatives have involved collaboration, with other law firms or in-house teams at our clients, and always with NGOs and charities working directly with the client groups. It was a pleasure to take part in my first Asia Pro Bono Conference in 2020, after moving to Hong Kong earlier in the year. Given that lockdowns had prevented much direct contact with the pro bono community, it was a valuable opportunity to engage and share ideas with the regional network. I gained an insight into the issues that NGOs in the region are addressing which I was able to take back to my planning for our regional focus areas and strategy. I know from peers and colleagues the impact that the APBC has had and continues to have on pro bono in Asia and am delighted to be a part of the 10 APBC & A2JX this year.
Our advocacy for human rights protections and access to justice for people arrested for drug offences, especially people who drugs, has been strengthened by the legal service providers and supporters of the pro bono and access to justice movement over the last 10 years. The APBC and A2J exchange has consistently supported us by connecting us with legal service providers around the world, highlighting our issues of concern about drug policy, and enabling people in the drug policy reform movement to join the APBC each year so they can also join in bringing together the drug policy reform and access to justice movement. The support provided has been immeasurable, strong and without ceasing over the years and we are hugely grateful for the immense efforts of the APBC and A2JX in ensuring that people in some of the most vulnerable situations around us are able to be seen, heard and given access to justice.
Seyed Masoud Noori
Roya Institute for Global Justice is an NGO that focuses on promoting human rights and sustainable development through education, pro bono lawyering, and the local community empowerment, especially women.
Since its establishment (May 2020), Roya has held two virtual international training for trainers (e- TOT) courses, five webinars, and five panels in international events, including GAJE and The Asia Pro Bono Conferences on the mentioned topics. Our familiarity with organizers of the Asia Pro bono & Access to Justice Conference and APBC & A2 Exchange program and their cooperation has enhanced our activities.
Roya, with the cooperation of its advisory board members, including from Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Afghanistan, as well as through its global representatives in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, has tried to improve Pro bono & Access to Justice in the region. Hold training courses and facilitated voluntary cooperation are some examples.