The Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (NJCM) is launching a new project: Pro Bono Connect. This is a so-called clearing house that links NGOs with attorneys who are willing to provide them free legal advice or to support them in a legal procedure.
How does it work?
Pro Bono Connect talks with NGOs to map out their legal needs. It helps them to summarize and to phrase legal questions that are suitable to be taken into care by attorneys. After this, Pro Bono Connect decides which law firm is the most suitable, based on expertise, for the issue at hand. As an intermediary, Pro Bono Connect presents the request to the firm, which then decides on accepting the case.
What is it committed to?
Pro Bono Connect is mainly committed to issues with a human rights component (in the broadest sense of the word). Besides, it deals with questions concerning the internal organization and are of strategic importance to the concerning NGO. Relating to legal procedures, Pro Bono Connect may function as an intermediary, for example for the benefit of strategic procedures for human rights by way of the Public Interest Litigation Project of the NJCM.
A number of the largest law firms in the Netherlands are connected to Pro Bono Connect. They provide for their attorneys to get in touch with a wide range of civil society that promote the general interest in the field of human rights.