Conference History

Beginning in 2012 in Laos  PDR, the Asia Pro Bono Conference held each year celebrates and emphasizes pro bono legal work and legal ethics, discussing ways to further the outreach of the pro bono ethos in Asia and around the globe.

The two day Conference includes speeches, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, and interactive workshops led by experienced international lawyers and law professors. The sessions speak of the challenges and successes of pro bono work in the lawyers’ respective countries.

Each Conference offers simultaneous translation throughout to accommodate many of the different languages represented in the Conference & workshop rooms.

To date, the Conference has been held in Vientiane, Laos (2012); HCMC, Vietnam (2013); Singapore (2014); Mandalay, Myanmar (2015),Bali, Indonesia (2016) and Malaysia will be the next country to host the Conference in 2017.

Malathi Das, Singapore“I was extremely humbled by the work BABSEACLE does and how much it has achieved with so little. It reminded me that when you have people together who believe in something very strongly – no matter how little they have, no matter how difficult the task ahead – good things happen. The one thing that really moved me was hearing the granny in the video describing how she felt when she received pro bono help: ‘I feel like I am sharing the same breath and heartbeat as my lawyers’.” – Malathi Das – Key Note Speaker: Inaugual Asia Pro Bono Conference 2012 (Head, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Joyce A Tan & Partners, Singapore)

2016- Bali Indonesia
The Impact of Pro Bono on Transformational Change: Working to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference was held in Sanur, Bali from the 29th of August to the 2ndof September, 2016. The conference hosted over 320 delegates from 30 countries across the legal community including lawyers, legal educators, students, judges, government officials and civil society professionals. The theme of the conference and forum was “The Impact of Pro Bono on Transformational Change: Working to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

2015 – Mandalay, Myanmar 
Pro Bono and Ethics Build A Noble Legal Profession.

The 4th Asia Pro Bono Conference and Legal Ethics Forum was held in Mandalay, Myanmar on the 3-6 September, 2015; bringing together over 230 delegates from 19 countries. Delegates from across the legal community including lawyers, legal educators, students, judges, government officials, and civil society professionals. The theme of the Conference and forum was “Pro Bono and Ethics Build a Noble Legal Profession.” It was an inspiring exhibition of a strong commitment to pro bono, legal ethics and justice education in the region and internationally.
(click to read the conference report)

2014 – Singapore
Public Private People Partnerships

The 3rd Asia Pro Bono Conference was held in Singapore on the 2-4 of October 2014; bringing together over 350 delegates from 25 countries. This was a Conference where pro bono was truly celebrated, not just as the provision of free legal services by lawyers for the public good but as a concept that is driving the positive evolution of legal systems to further justice for indigent, socially disadvantaged and marginalised people across a diverse range of countries in the Asian region. 
(click to read the conference report)

2013 – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Pro Bono Initiatives to Strength Access to Justice

The 2nd Asia Pro Bono Conference was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on the 11-12 of October 2013; bringing together over 200 delegates from 19 countries. Delegates gathered to share their experiences on Pro Bono Initiatives to Strength Access to Justice and extolled the virtues of pro bono work and looked to the future of pro bono lawyering. The conference and workshop, and delegates were supported by the enthusiastic participation of law students from Cambodia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
(click to read the conference report)

2012 – Vientiane, Laos PDR
Developing Pro Bono Initiatives to Strengthen Access to Justice in the Asia Region and Internationally.

The 1st Asia Pro Bono Conference was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on the 28-29 September 2012; bringing together over 150 delegates from 20 countries. The inaugural Conference/Workshop comprising lawyers, civil society organisation representatives, academics, students, bar association representatives and government officials — gathered together for the first time in Vientiane, Laos, to share their experiences and visions.
(click to read the conference report)