Building Pro Bono Momentum in Indonesia

The hosting of a regional Forum is more than just putting on a series of events – it is about working with local partners to build pro bono and, hopefully, a lasting impact. In Indonesia we had the pleasure of collaborating with a wide variety of stakeholders to do just that!

 

Peradis: Unite for Pro Bono

For the first time in 5 years, the three different bar associations in Indonesia agreed to be on the same stage for the Forum’s panel discussion on “Growing Pro Bono in Indonesia”.

Under the masterful moderating of Mr. Ahmad Fikri Assegaf, a corporate law firm founder and a dedicated public interest lawyer, the three Peradis agreed to unite for pro bono.

“Growing Pro Bono In Indonesia” (From left to right: Eryanto Nugroho of Indonesian Foundation for Law and Policy Studies, Alvon Kurnia Palma of Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, Gunadarma of Armand Yapsunto Muharamsyah & Partners, Rivai Kusumanegara of Kusumanegara & Partners Attorneys & Counsellors at Law, Sugeng Teguh Santoso of Sugeng Teguh Santoso Law Office, Wayan Purwita of Wayan Purwita & Associates Law Office, Ahmad Fikri Assegaf of Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, and Erwina Tobing of Ashurst / Oentoeng Suria & Partners)

“Growing Pro Bono In Indonesia” (From left to right: Eryanto Nugroho of Indonesian Foundation for Law and Policy Studies, Alvon Kurnia Palma of Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, Gunadarma of Armand Yapsunto Muharamsyah & Partners, Rivai Kusumanegara of Kusumanegara & Partners Attorneys & Counsellors at Law, Sugeng Teguh Santoso of Sugeng Teguh Santoso Law Office, Wayan Purwita of Wayan Purwita & Associates Law Office, Ahmad Fikri Assegaf of Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, and Erwina Tobing of Ashurst / Oentoeng Suria & Partners)

 

Congratulations for the successful event! I really enjoyed the networking and the discussions. … The panel with three Peradi sparked some good debates within the Peradis and hopefully the joint program can be implemented soon. By the way the profile pictures are really cool!Ahmad Fikri Assegaf of Assegaf Hamzah & Partners

 

This moment was also reported in “Three PERADI Factions Join Forces to Address Improved Implementation of Pro-Bono Policy” (by Hukumonline.com, Marcell Sihombing and Hasyry Agustin), describing how the Peradis declared their willingness to reunite to improve the implementation of a system of mandatory pro-bono work for Indonesian lawyers.

 

[The three Indonesian Bar Associations] should not only collaborate. Ideally speaking, we should reunite.Rivai Kusumanegara of Kusumanegara & Partners Attorneys & Counsellors at Law

 

We look forward to hearing more good news regarding this pro bono collaboration in months and years to come!

 

New Pro Bono Clearinghouses?

PILnet was invited to participate in two workshops during the Asia Pro Bono Exchange: one evening workshop organized by LBH Jakarta and sponsored by TIFA Foundation (Aug 30), and another full-day workshop at the 5th Asia Pro Bono Conference sponsored by The Asia Foundation (Sept 1). The two foundations together sponsored about 18 CSO members to come to the Exchange: the first TIFA-sponsored discussion was amongst LBHs (the legal aid organizations) in Indonesia to discuss the possibility of setting up a pro bono clearinghouse(s), and the TAF-sponsored one day workshop examined how pro bono lawyers can be better harnessed to serve marginalized communities in Indonesia. At both workshops PILnet shared its expertise in running and incubating clearinghouses and moderated discussions on how to match the supply of and demand for pro bono legal assistance.

 

The action plan coming out from the TAF workshop includes (1) setting up a working group, which will bring together law firms, Peradis, and LBHs to continue this discussion; (2) and, potentially,  setting up a clearinghouse to connect marginalized communities with pro bono resources. It was a privilege to be part of these discussions and witness the exciting developments with our Indonesia civil society and law firm partners!

 

Meanwhile, two new Indonesian pro bono clearinghouses also attended PILnet’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse Workshop on Aug 29 and shared their exciting progress – SocolaS and JUSTIKA (the latter just launched this summer!). We look forward to learning from their experience going forward.

 

Prior to Forum: Call to Action, 1st Pro Bono Roundtable, etc.

Prior to the Forum, PILnet took the lead in putting together a Call to Action by Indonesian Legal Community to do more pro bono. By the end of the Exchange, The Call had over a dozen signatures from various steak holders, including the three Peradis, the Capital Markets Lawyers Association (HKHPM), and KAI. Content of the Call and its signatories can be found here.

 

The Call was evident of support for legal, institutionalized pro bono from a broad spectrum of law firms and lawyers in Indonesia, where firm-based pro bono was previously not very common. This was made possible due to several key stakeholders in Indonesia: Hukumonline.com, Mr. Ahmad Fikri Assegaf of Assegaf Hamzah & Partners, Ms. Melli Darsa of Melli Darsa & Co., Ms. Ratih Narangsari, and Ms. Erwina Tobing of Ashurst / Oentoeng Suria & Partners in particular.

 

If the effort of establishing justice for the impoverished and suppressed should be simplified into pro bono, then pro bono is an ethical obligation which is regulated in the ethic code of the Indonesian advocates. It is also a legal obligation, if we look at the law regarding legal aid. So this is an obligation, not charity.Sugeng Teguh Santoso of Sugeng Teguh Santoso Law Office

 

On July 27th, in collaboration with Hukumonline.com, PILnet held the first Indonesian Pro Bono Law Firm Roundtable. The roundtable was attended by  representatives from 14 law firms. With the support of moderator Pak Indra Safitri (chairperson, HKHPM), and sharing from Wendy Morrish of BABSEACLE and Jessica Marsh from TrustLaw, the roundtable participants discussed the current state of pro bono in Indonesia and explored some of the challenges facing law firms who were keen to do more pro bono. This provided a helpful foundation for the more in-depth discussions at the Exchange and the development of concrete next steps.

 

Participants gather for a photo after the 1st Indonesian Pro Bono Roundtable (July 27, 2016)

Participants gather for a photo after the 1st Indonesian Pro Bono Roundtable (July 27, 2016)

 

Partnership with HukumOnline (translation: Law Online)

HukumOnline, a local media outlet focusing on legal stories for business and legal professionals, has been a key partner of the Forum, from organizing the 1st Indonesian Pro Bono Law Firm Roundtable to issuing multiple reports on the Forum. It has been a real pleasure working with their dedicated team. For more on the platform, please check out their website.

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