Editor’s Note – Pro Bono Committee e-Bulletin
Pamela R Kovacs
Law Society of Saskatchewan, Regina
Welcome to our Spring e-Bulletin, which features six articles that reflect on the importance of pro bono during the global pandemic and highlight ongoing and new initiatives that demonstrate a commitment to pro bono projects and policy developments, especially during Covid-19.
Our first article takes us to Brazil, explaining the impact of Covid-19 on the justice system as well as the dedicated efforts by the pro bono community towards public and social interest matters. Similar efforts are highlighted in South Africa in the second article, focusing on freedom of expression and defending against Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. Our third and fourth articles concentrate on prisons, reminding of the vulnerability of this population. Findings are featured from a global study that identifies successes and lessons for prison reform. We also return to South Africa for a closer look at a correctional matter involving torture and continued pro bono support despite obstacles presented by the pandemic. Our last two articles document progress, focusing on the growing pro bono culture and practices in two European countries – Ireland and Italy – and ways policy changes and projects are contributing to help those most in need.
Together, these articles highlight how the pandemic has exacerbated justice issues but also reaffirmed commitment to access to justice. In line with the IBA Pro Bono Declaration, legal professionals are offering advocacy and pro bono legal services in difficult circumstances, but for important and pressing matters.
Please enjoy reading these inspiring articles as you stay safe and healthy and with thanks to our contributors. And, as always, between e-Bulletins, you can view ‘IBA Pro Bono’ (https://twitter.com/IBAprobono) for regular pro bono news and updates or browse the resources section of the IBA Pro Bono Committee website (www.ibanet.org/PPID/Constituent/ProBono_Accs_Justice/Default).
Please be in touch if you have a pro bono idea or story to share.