THE federal government has injected funds into an organisation that will boost the legal profession's pro bono work in the Asia Pacific.
Law Council of Australia president, Alexander Ward said the funding will help ensure the future development of the legal profession within the region and in the promotion of the rule of law within the Asia-Pacific.
The funding will see a new clearing house for pro bono work, the Centre for Asia Pacific Pro Bono CAPPB, to coordinate requests from the Asia-Pacific region.
The Law Council said requests are expected to come from a range of government and non-government organisations, courts and legal professional associations.
“We expect we will receive requests seeking assistance to provide legal advice, draft and reform laws and to provide training and support," Ward said.
“The Centre will facilitate the matching of requests with providers of pro bono legal services in Australia to ensure appropriate providers are matched with requests."
Over the coming months the Law Council will focus on the establishment of the CAPPB, which will include the promotion of the Centre both nationally and internationally.
“The Law Council looks forward to establishing the CAPPB and is committed to working with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and the International Pro Bono Advisory Group to further develop the initiative,” Ward said.
The announcement of the CAPPB coincides with the official launch of the South Pacific Lawyers’ Association (SPLA), which will help lawyers in Australia and the South Pacific build on their regional expertise. The Australian government will provide $475,000 to the association to help build the council's pro boon program and improve legal professionalism across the region.