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HIV-RELATED LEGAL SERVICE MODELS

Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-Related Legal Services

Model 6. HIV LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY PRIVATE SECTOR LAWYERS ON A PRO BONO BASIS This model provides access to the resources of private law firms, including senior legal professionals, at no cost (i.e. pro bono). Pro bono services can supplement or be integrated into community-based services, for example by private law firm staff donating a proportion of their time to work as volunteers for nongovernmental organization legal services. In some countries, bar associations, the licensing agency for lawyers, or the government may make pro bono provision of legal aid mandatory. HIV legal services can be provided through these pro bono schemes. Examples include the following: Probono.org HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic, South Africa Nine private law firms are partners of the Probono.org HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic. Consultations are given to individuals or groups who cannot afford commercial legal fees and who have legal matters that are in the public interest. Public interest court cases are referred to law firms for representation. Referrals are made to other bodies should the matters not be suitable for legal resolution. The clinic maintains working relationships with a range of HIV nongovernmental organizations and arranges training and seminars on public interest topics for nongovernmental organizations and law firms (see http://www.probono-org.org). Yunnan Righteous Law Firm, China The Yunnan Righteous Law Firm has partnered with legal aid offices, volunteer law school students and nongovernmental organizations to provide free legal advice to people living with HIV, many of whom are injecting drug users, and their families. The law firm has also helped to organize capacity-building of the legal profession on HIV and the law, including assisting with publication of the Guidebook on HIV and the law in Yunnan (see http://www.idlo.org/publications/ Guidebook_to_HIVAIDS_and_the_Law_EN_July_2008.pdf). Model 7. HIV LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY PRIVATE LAWYERS ON RETAINER TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS Some community-based organizations seek to provide regular access for their clients to private lawyers in the local community on specific matters, such as police relations. Clients may require access at short notice to non-judgemental representation from lawyers with a thorough understanding of the local legal system and expertise in specific areas of the law relevant to key populations, such as criminal law and arrest rights. For example: Community-based groups of men who have sex with men and transgender people in India are able to access lawyers from the local community who are paid a retainer. The services required relate primarily to arrests and police harassment. The assistance usually involves negotiation with police rather than court representation. The lawyers retained are well versed in local criminal 25

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Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-Related Legal Services  

Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-Related Legal Services  

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