PRO BONO IN THE NEWS: October – November 2016
Below you can find articles of interest to the pro bono community that have been published since our last edition. Click through to read any news article in full.
You can also follow the latest news in pro bono from Australia and around the world by following the Centre on Twitter: @AusPBC
- Lawyers working for free to help clear family law court backlog
18 November 2016 – The Courier Mail
Unrelenting delays at family law courts have led a group of lawyers to do what the court can’t – clear cases for people stuck in the system for over a year. And they are currently doing it for free.
- Legal Centre faces funding cuts as more trans teens seek support
17 November 2016 – ABC Triple J Hack
Earlier this year, Georgie Stone made headlines for her plight to change the fact that Australia is the only place in the world where young transgender people must go to court to get hormones. Georgie says she was lucky to be supported by pro bono lawyers.
- Urgent action needed on Indigenous imprisonment in light of new Productivity Commission report [media release]
17 November 2016 – The Law Council of Australia
The Productivity Commission’s latest ‘Overcoming Indigenous Disadvantage has underscored the pressing need for reform to combat catastrophic rates of Indigenous imprisonment.
- Christopher Horan QC awarded Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy [media release]
17 November 2016 – Victorian Bar
Christopher Horan QC has been awarded to the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy for his exceptional and ongoing commitment to pro bono work since 2009 in constitutional and administrative law. Since 2009 he has undertaken 14 pro bono matters through Justice Connect.
- Free NT juvenile justice legal advice service launched
17 November 2016 – Australasian Lawyer
A free legal advice service for people participating in the Northern Territory’s inquiry into the juvenile justice and child protection systems has been launched.
- Deng Adut named NSW Australian of the Year
7 November 2016 – Sydney Morning Herald
Deng Adut saw tragedy and suffering at an age when most young Australians are learning to read and forging their first friendships in the schoolyard. … He taught himself to read while working the night shift at a Blacktown petrol station and later graduated with a law degree from WSU. He is now studying for his second master of laws, this time in criminal prosecution, at Wollongong University. A co-founder of AC Law Group, a law firm with offices in Sydney, Redfern and Blacktown, Mr Adut helps troubled youths in western Sydney through pro bono cases.
- Arts Law – Artists In The Black
4 November 2016 – Colin Biggers & Paisley Foundation
Partner Andrew Komesaroff reports on his recent secondment to Arts Law where he met with local Indigenous artists in two communities in Far North Queensland.
- Strong Legal Profession support for Community Legal Centres in face of funding cliff [media release]
4 November 2016 – National Association of Community Legal Centres
The National Association of Community Legal Centres has welcomed an open letter from the heads of state and territory law societies calling for the reversal of the funding cliff facing Community Legal Centres and funding for the legal assistance sector. The letter echoes the concern expressed by leaders of pro bono practices at major law firms about the funding of Community Legal Centres in another open letter published in The Australian in June this year.
- Law society presidents call on PM to reverse cuts to legal assistance funding [media release]
3 November 2016 – Law Society NT
The heads of Australia’s eight law societies representing more than 60,000 practising solicitors have called on the Prime Minister to return funding to the legal assistance sector in an open letter.
- Collaboration is key
1 November 2016 – Law Institute Journal
Giving back to the community is very important. After 11 years in law firms and in-house roles, I became a sole practitioner in January 2013 and took on a business partner in October 2015. The biggest attraction to setting up your own shop is having the freedom to set your own hours, be as flexible as your clients require, and make the most of the quiet times by doing things you love. In my case, that involves delivering pro bono assistance to causes I care about
- US: LGBTQ community rallies around #TransLawHelp to get trans people legal services before Trump takes office
21 November 2016 – Geekwire
Many members of the LGBTQ community are fearful that they will face new obstacles after Trump takes over. Allies are using the hashtag #TransLawHelp to raise money and help trans people get the legal services they need pro bono.
- UK: Contingency legal aid fund – we want your views
18 November 2016 – The Law Society (England & Wales)
The Law Society of England and Wales, the Bar Council and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) have set up a joint working group to examine the viability of a contingent legal aid fund (CLAF).
- US: Schifino: Make pro bono count for those who need it most
16 November 2016 – Tallahassee Democrat
Pro bono service is part of the very DNA of our justice system, because accessing it shouldn’t have a price tag or be limited only to those who can afford it.
- UK: Pro bono week: cold water poured on levy plan
7 November 2016 – The Law Society Gazette
Leading City firms should not be forced to help fund access to justice through a compulsory levy, an event to launch the Law Society ‘Pro Bono Charter’ heard today. In the latest sign of City hostility to the concept, Hogan Lovells chair Nicholas Cheffings suggested such a levy would distract firms’ attention from voluntary pro bono activities.
- UK: Lawyers must not ‘prop up’ ailing legal aid system
7 November 2016 – Solicitors Journal
The Law Society has kicked off National Pro Bono Week by launching a pro bono charter and manual aimed at enhancing the voluntary practice carried out by law firms. Signatories to the charter will commit to improving access to justice for those unable to pay for legal help or access legal aid, while the manual aims to support firms in developing sustainable, reliable, and effective pro bono programmes.
- UK: Lawyers volunteer millions of hours of free legal advice for the public good [media release]
4 November 2016 – The Law Society (England & Wales)
Every year lawyers across England and Wales volunteer nearly two million hours of free legal advice to some of the most vulnerable people in our society… On 7 November, to meet demand, the National Pro Bono Centre is launching an online matching service that will connect lawyers with organisations across England and Wales that provide pro bono services and need more legal experts.
STORIES IN THIS ISSUE:
AUSTRALIAN PRO BONO NEWS