We offer several programs serving the critical legal needs of individuals and non-profit organizations of limited means, ranging from summary legal advice clinics to full legal representation services. A lawyer at POPA should aspire to render at least (50) hours of pro bono publico legal services per year.
Access to Justice
Access to justice is a basic principle of the rule of law. In the absence of access to justice, people are unable to have their voice heard, exercise their rights, challenge discrimination or hold decision-makers accountable. Delivery of justice should be impartial and non-discriminatory.One of the major obstacles in accessing justice is the cost of legal advice and representation. Legal aid programmes are a central component of strategies to enhance access to justice.
“Pro bono legal advice is gratuitous legal counselling for a good cause and consists of the counselling and representation of non-profit organisations, non-governmental organisations, trust funds and needy individuals who pursue legitimate causes yet do not benefit from the statutory legal aid system, as well as engagement to promote and spread the rule of law and human rights. The aim of the pro bono legal counselling is to make the professional expertise and resources of a law firm available for a good cause, in most cases a charitable cause, and to therewith develop civic engagement as a part of the professional activities. Pro bono legal advice is committed to meeting the same professional quality standards as fee-based legal services. In principle, pro bono legal services are also only rendered in those cases for which no or a very limited one “market” exists. Parties requesting such advisory services are mostly not in a position to bear the costs of legal counselling due to their economic situation or by-laws, or are unwilling to do so on grounds of a preferential use of their funds for their own charitable purposes.”
Promoting and protecting access to justice is a relevant theme for every respectable law office. In the absence of access to justice, people are unable to exercise their rights in the full manner. Access to justice is an inherent feature of a democratic society. In this regard, our office seeks to prevent individuals, in particular those who are poor, vulnerable or marginalised, from seeking legal remedies.