Pro Bono Partnerships
Justice Centre works closely with law firms and corporations, who dedicate invaluable time, skills and resources (both financial and in-kind) to support refugees and vulnerable migrants in Hong Kong.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Our pro bono partners work with us to deliver a range of critical services, including:
- Providing casework support (including taking witness testimony, preparing country condition reports, legal submissions, instructing experts, etc.) in the asylum proceedings administered by the Hong Kong Government (i.e., the Unified Screening Mechanism; USM)
- Representing refugees and forced migrants in USM appeal proceedings;
- Representing refugees and forced migrants in legal aid proceedings;
- Delivering legal information to refugees, asylum seekers and other forced migrants;
- Representing refugees and torture survivors in unlawful detention claims; and
- Supporting community outreach and empowerment initiatives.
Pro bono lawyers also provide invaluable advice to support our operations. These include advice in relation to a range of issues such as corporate governance, data privacy, intellectual property and employment.
In addition to legal work, our law firm partners are engaged in a variety of impactful initiatives, such as hosting events and roundtables, and mentoring students participating in our educational programmes.
Unmet Legal Needs
Our pro bono initiatives target areas of unmet legal needs.
There are over 14,000 individuals seeking protection in Hong Kong SAR from the torture, persecution and other issues they faced in their countries of origin. While the Hong Kong Government guarantees legal representation at first instance, over 93% of asylum seekers are unrepresented on appeal and beyond. We have been successful in filling this unmet need. To date, 85% of appeal cases with our pro bono partners have been successful.
Collaborative Model, Impactful Engagement
Justice Centre screens for high-priority and potentially impactful cases, and our team works closely with our partners to deliver high quality legal services. We provide comprehensive and intensive training to new pro bono lawyers, and provide detailed briefings, guidance documents and templates and ongoing technical assistance throughout each case. We also ensure clients receive holistic support from initial intake to resettlement or case completion.
Partner with Us
Our Pro Bono Partnerships are open to law firms, corporate in-house legal teams, and individual legal professionals.
Instead of asking our partners to buy tables at charity dinners or participate in other fundraising efforts, our partners make an annual contribution, which enable us to maintain a small team of experienced refugee protection practitioners to deliver responsive services, conduct case screening, deliver comprehensive training and provide technical assistance throughout each pro bono case. It also allows us to work with professional interpreters, reimburse clients for transport costs, and cover other costs that our clients cannot afford to bear.
Partnership contribution also allows us to supplement legal support with social welfare and counseling services and community work.
List of Partners
For more information about our Pro Bono Partnerships, please contact our Legal Officer Caroline Mok.