24 SEP 2021
15.30 – 17.30
Pro Bono In Asia: Celebrating The Decade Gone And The Decade Ahead
Right to justice is a fundamental right- and the cornerstone of any democratic society that believes in the rule of law. Not only is it essential that the rule of law exists, accessibility to legal recourse is also paramount. For instance, in India alone, more than 30 million cases are pending in front of various courts. The situation is similar in a number of countries of the region. This is only the tip of the iceberg, as a number of NGOs and development organisations also are in dire need of legal assistance.
Recent years have seen an increase in pro bono services being provided by a number of players- including the ‘Nyaya Bandhu’ scheme by the Ministry of Justice of India as well as a number of development organisations assisting in pro bono. Many countries have also started recognising pro bono as an essential part of lawyering including making it mandatory in countries like South Korea for lawyers to provide pro bono services. Nonetheless, the demand for pro bono services outstrips the supply by a huge margin.
With a varied landscape and a complicated matrix of the big, medium, and small-sized law firms, facilitating pro bono assistance in the region is a mammoth task. Nonetheless, there is also huge potential in the region that needs to be tapped. This session explores the potential of pro bono legal services in the region, looks at the achievements in pro bono legal services in the past decade, and discusses the plan of action for the next 10 years to further strengthen strategic pro bono legal services.