Pro Bono in the News: June - July 2010
Articles of interest to the pro bono community from June - July 2010. Click through to read any news article in full.
2 July 2010 - Commonwealth Attorney-General
The Attorney-General has announced the commencement of the new National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services. States & Territories will receive $785M over 4 years to deliver Commonwealth funded legal aid services, including $92M+ more funding in the 2010-11 Budget. This replaces the former arrangements where the Commonwealth was principally a buyer of legal service.
28 June 2010 - Lawyers Weekly
McCullough Robertson has appointed Heather Watson as a partner to its non profits and community partnerships team. Watson joins the partnership from 1 July, with managing partner Guy Humble telling Lawyers Weekly that her appointment was driven by both clients and firms having an increasing focus on corporate social responsibility.
23 June 2010 - Corporate Counsel
How far has the acceptance of pro bono come in the law departments of large companies? At least two have made it mandatory. That was one surprising nugget that the Pro Bono Institute's Esther Lardent mentioned when she met with a group of ALM reporters and editors. Abbott Laboratories and American Airlines now require their lawyers and legal staffs to pitch in 10 hours a year, said Lardent.
22 June 2010 - The Mercury
The Tasmanian Government has announced its intention to introduce a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities, designed to enshrine civil and political rights including the right to vote, free speech and religious freedom. The proposed Charter is also understood to include protections for additional economic, social and cultural rights, unlike recent similar legislation in Victoria and the ACT.
22 June 2010 - Thomson Reuters Foundation AlertNet
Thomson Reuters Foundation has launched the website TrustLaw (at www.trust.org/trustlaw/). It aims to connect non-profit groups and social entrepreneurs in need of legal assistance to lawyers who are willing to work without charge. TrustLaw hopes to transform access to pro bono legal support and act as an international hub for news, views and resources on anti-corruption and good governance issues.
21 June 2010 - Voiceless
In San Francisco 30 years ago, a handful of attorneys set in train a revolution that has touched the lives of billions of animals worldwide. This August, one of those pioneers of the animal law movement, leading US animal lawyer Joyce Tischler, will speak at events across the country as part of Voiceless’ fourth annual Animal Law Lecture Series. Please follow this link to find out more about the Series: http://www.voiceless.org.au/lecture
18 June 2010 - Pro Bono Australia
PILCH Victoria has received a funding boost from the Victorian Government for its Pilch Connect service, which provides pro bono legal services to Not For Profit organisations. The Minister for Community Development Lily D'Ambrosio has announced that the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) will receive $274,000 to continue its work to support community organisations through the service.
17 June 2010 - Lawyers Weekly
Former High Court Judge Michael Kirby has become the first Australian to be awarded the internationally renowned Gruber Justice Prize. Kirby's shares this accolade with South Africa's Prof John Dugard and the Indian Law Resource Centre. The Gruber Justice Prize is worth $US500,000 and was awarded to Kirby for his ongoing contribution to human rights law and justice issues throughout his career.
16 June 2010 - The Law Gazette
A National Pro Bono Centre is to open this summer in the UK to act as a 'hub' for pro bono charities. The NPBC, which has been registered as a new legal charity, will bring together in one building LawWorks, the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the ILEX Pro Bono Forum. It will be based in Chancery Lane, London.
17 June 2010 - Commonwealth Attorney General
The Federal Government has launched Australia's Framework for Law and Justice Engagement with the Pacific. The private sector contributes significantly to the Pacific law sector by providing pro bono legal advice and other legal services. Last year, the A-G announced the creation of an International Pro Bono Advisory Group to guide and coordinate pro bono assistance by Australian lawyers overseas.
15 June 2010 - PR Newswire
The pro bono efforts of major law firms in the US held steady in 2009 despite the continued pressures of the economic downturn, according to the Pro Bono Institute's 2009 Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge Report. In 2009, 134 of the nation's law firms performed 4,867,820 hours of pro bono work, an increase of nearly 24,000 hours from 2008. The total translates to nearly $2 billion in free legal services.
9 June 2010 - Legal Week
Allen & Overy, a UK firm with offices around the world including Australia, is advising Rwanda as the once war-torn nation changes from civil to common law to boost foreign direct investment. The firm currently has a 12-lawyer team on the ground, training the country's legal community on the common law system and general commercial law as part of the changeover process.
4 June 2010 - Financial Times
Includes profiles of various pro bono projects in South Africa, including a pro bono legal project in Mitchell Plains, a township east of Cape Town, the Cape Law Society's insistence that all it its members do 24 hours pro bono a year and the "banking the unbanked" initiative by Standard Bank.
3 June 2010 - The New Lawyer
The Commonwealth Government and the Northern Land Council will face a Federal Court legal challenge over plans for a radioactive waste dump in the Northern Territory. Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is working with NSW law firm Surry Partners, and Julian Burnside QC, to commence proceedings challenging the nomination of the Indigenous land, at Muckaty Station near Tennant Creek.
2 June 2010 - Lawyers Weekly
Proposed changes under the National Legal Profession Reform draft Bill which would provide free or low cost practicing certificates for lawyers volunteering at community legal centres has drawn both praise and criticism from the National Pro Bono Resource Centre.
2 June 2010 - The Footscray Mail
Footscray Community Legal Centre lawyer Ha Le will combine her legal expertise and Vietnamese heritage to pioneer a new legal service in the western region. The Vietnamese Legal Service and Community Education project is scheduled to get under way next month after funding was secured from the Victorian Law Foundation for a 12-month pilot program.