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