The cost of litigation has been identified as one of the biggest barriers to organisations engaging in public interest litigation. One of the ways the PILS Project is tackling this barrier is through the growth of the pro bono culture amongst the legal profession in Northern Ireland.
Pro Bono is legal work undertaken by practitioners voluntarily and without payment or at a reduced fee. Although pro bono is normally taken to mean representation before the courts and tribunals, we understand there are a number of other ways practitioners can contribute their expertise on a pro bono basis to the disadvantaged and vulnerable generally, and to the work of the PILS Project specifically.
The PILS Project runs a register which is made up of practitioners interested in undertaking legal work on a pro bono basis with the PILS Project and/or its NGO members. The PILS Project contacts practitioners on the register when opportunities arise and the individual decides at that juncture whether they can assist depending on the commitment required and their workload at that time.
Pro bono opportunities include:
- Providing representation in litigation supported by the PILS Project
- Providing information to one or a number of NGOs on a particular legal topic or providing advice on human rights compliance or the legality of specific laws or policies
- Conducting preliminary research on issues brought to the PILS Project by members
- Providing an initial opinion for the PILS Project up to involvement in a test case
- Writing an article for the PILS Project Newsletter
- Analysing a recent case and writing a case note for a PILS Project publication
- Delivering legal training
The PILS Project would like to expand its pro bono register, so if you are interested please download the application form to register your interest here or email .
The PILS Project Pro Bono Policy can be viewed and downloaded here.