Second Annual Pro Bono Award Ceremony – 17 September 2015

The second of the annual pro bono award ceremonies will be held on 17 September 2015 at The Hill restaurant at Constitution Hill. The Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela will be the keynote speaker.

ProBono.Org has grown in stature and impact thanks to the professionalism and heart of members of the private legal fraternity.  It is only apt that their achievements are recognised and publicly acclaimed.

This year we invited nominations from lawyers for the following awards:

  1. Award for the most impactful case, project or initiative undertaken by a private law firm in 2014. This would be defined as a case, project or initiative that will have a marked impact on the lives of a group of people and that will enable that group’s lives to be significantly improved in line with the rights contained in the Bill of Rights and Constitution.
  2. Award for a for-profit organisation/corporation that enables voluntary service by its employees that advances the public interest and makes people aware of their rights.  The organisation/corporation must demonstrate that a project or initiative undertaken or initiated in 2014 has contributed to the promotion of rights for members of the public. The contribution must be made by the corporation primarily through the work and time of its employees, and is not an award for a monetary contribution or donation of material goods alone to an NGO or individuals.
  3. The most dedicated and committed individual attorney in a law firm, law clinic or private company in 2014. This award recognised the achievements of one attorney who has shown individual drive, imagination and commitment to use his or her skills to make a difference.
  4. A case, project or initiative that advanced children’s rights in 2014.  This award will be given to a law firm that has had a case, project or initiative that has promoted a child or children’s rights. The award could be for work that impacted on an individual/s or on a group.
  5. The human rights champion award. This award is for a legal NGO, CBO or social movement who uses the law through litigation, advocacy or law reform to fulfil people’s rights.
  6. This award is for a student at a law clinic at a university in South Africa who has shown exceptional dedication and commitment to his or her work at the legal clinic.
  7. This award is for an advocate who, through his or her pro bono contribution, has demonstrated the most dedication and commitment during 2014.

READ MORE ABOUT THE EVENT AT THE AWARDS WEBSITE

Public Interest Law Gathering (PILG) at Wits 23-24 July

A Coming Together of Public Interest Law Practitioners in South Africa.

23-24 July 2015.

Venue: University of the Witwatersrand, School of Law.

Topics to be explored include:

  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Recent Strategic Litigation on the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000
  • Sentencing Reform
  • The Public Interest Legal Services Sector: Perspectives on Impact, Collaboration and Funding for Social Change
  • Watching Briefs
  • Reckless Lending and Emolument Attachment Orders
  • Respecting and Protecting the Rights to Freedom of Expression: Using Courts to Protect Human Rights Defenders in Southern Africa
  • Strategic Litigation and Transnational Fora
  • Social Assistance Advocacy and Litigation to Make Human Rights Real
  • The Dladla Judgment and the Provision of Temporary Alternative Accommodation

Registration: Opens June 15th and Closes July 17th 2015

Registration Link: Click here

*PILG is organised through a coordinating committee consisting of the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), ProBono.Org, Section27, the Socio-economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI), the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), Students for Law and Social Justice (SLSJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand, School of Law.

ProBono.Org and LSNP open joint office in Pretoria

ProBono.Org and LSNP open joint office in Pretoria

In an exciting new initiative to help promote access to justice in South Africa, ProBono.Org and the Law Society for the Northern Provinces (LSNP) have opened a joint office in Pretoria.

The office, located at the Kutlwanong Democracy Centre, was launched on 6 May and will see a collaboration between these two organisations to create flexible methods for lawyers to engage in pro bono work.

ProBono.Org will continue to offer an avenue for lawyers to participate productively in this type of public service, while LSNP will provide statutory oversight to this critical aspect of the legal industry.

The initiative comes in response to increasing demand for pro bono work in Pretoria and surrounding regions; however, its location is key to expanding pro bono services to Limpopo, the North West and Mpumalanga.

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During his keynote address at the launch, Honourable Justice J Kollapen emphasised the importance of the legal profession in society and discussed the role of the law in South Africa’s context of poverty and unemployment. “For the law to be meaningful, people need to know the law and have access to the law,” he said.

The Pretoria offices will provide a dedicated space where pro bono attorneys can consult with potential clients in a secure and confidential space. It will also become a location for free legal clinics and similar projects.

Poor and vulnerable communities will now be able to access quality legal advice on numerous matters, including domestic violence, maintenance, housing issues, and even credit and consumer law.

Both ProBono.Org and LSNP believe that this joint initiative will go a long way towards providing the access to justice that all South Africans deserve.

 

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Both SS Madiba, President of the LSNP, and Advocate Andy Bester, Chair of the ProBono Board, encouraged all local attorneys to contact the Pretoria office and use the opportunity to give something back.

“ProBono would like to renew its commitment to working with the judiciary to see access to justice being made effective” Advocate Bester emphasised.