Australian Volunteers International (AVI) will this week launch their new program, Lawyers Beyond Borders (LBB), in Queensland.
LBB, which was officially established in May last year, is a targeted volunteer organisation connecting Australia's legal community with legal professionals and organisations in developing countries.
Tasks undertaken by LBB volunteers include assisting with promoting good governance, strengthening legal and judicial systems and increasing community access to legal services and programs.
In conjunction with AVI, the launch is being facilitated by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Clayton Utz.
QUT Executive Dean of Law The Hon. Professor Michael Lavarch said he welcomes the launch of LBB in Queensland at a time when he believes legal communities around the world must work together to address human rights issues and corruption.
"Queensland's legal community has shown strong support for involvement in LBB," said Lavarch.
"QUT Faculty of Law staff are involved in providing free legal advice across borders such as in Papua New Guinea and encourages its law students to participate in pro bono projects and in student exchanges to broaden their international experience."
AVI chief executive officer Dimity Fifer said AVI had a long history of facilitating legal volunteering.
"Since the 1960s, AVI has placed more than 800 Australian professionals in a legal capacity on long-term overseas assignments. They have worked everywhere from small non-government organisations in Swaziland to the People's Lawyer's Office of Tuvalu," she said.
"Lawyers Beyond Borders aims to harness the spirit of justice and provide more opportunities for legal professionals and legal organisations to work in partnership with AVI on international volunteer projects, e-volunteering initiatives and e-mentoring."
The LBB launch will be attended by several special guests, including Queensland Attorney-General and former AVI volunteer in Tuvalu Cameron Dick, Australian lawyer and current AVI volunteer in the Philippines Catherine Scerri, and Papua New Guinean lawyer and founder of volunteer movement, The Voice, Serena Sasingian.
The launch will be held on Thursday 20 May 2010 at 6.15 pm for a 6.30pm start at The Clayton Utz Law Library, Level 5, C Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane.