Pro Bono Expertise without Borders: Unlocking Public Interest Lawyering Tools in EaP Countries

Eastern Partnership Project 2017-18

25 May 2017

A project funded by the International Visegrad Fund and by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Project                                                     



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The purpose of the project is to enable civil society to better protect basic rights and the public interest by expanding their legal resources. We will support partners in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, Azerbaijan and use pro bono legal support to advance the public interest, influence laws and policies, and protect vulnerable communities. PILnet (Budapest), Pro Bono Alliance (Prague), Polish Legal Clinics Foundation (Warsaw), and Pontis Foundation (Bratislava), will provide allied support.


Visegrad Partners

PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law – Budapest, Hungary
Pontis Foundation – Bratislava, Slovakia
Polish Legal Clinics Foundation – Warsaw, Poland
Pro Bono Aliance – Prague, Czech Republic

Eastern Partners

Belarusian Helsinki Committee - Minsk, Belarus
Georgian Young Lawyers Association
 – Tbilisi, Georgia
Human Rights Embassy - Chisinau, Moldova
Legal Education Society - Baku, Azerbaijan
Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation - Kyiv, Ukraine





What works and what doesn’t? Discussion on pro bono and on advocacy efforts in the V4 countries and in the Republic of Moldova

Date: 11 September 2017
Time: 9:45 - 16:00
Venue: 45B Puskin st., Chisinau, Moldova

9:45 - 10:00 Welcome
Adrian Gheorghita, Deputy Director for Advocacy and Business Development American Chamber of Commerce in Moldova
Lela Metreveli, Executive Director, Human Rights Embassy
10:00 - 10:15 Introduction
Purpose of the International Visegrad Fund project and related events and activities – Tamas Barabas, PILnet Budapest Office
10:15 - 11:45 Presentations
I. Pro Bono in Poland: Synergies with Law School-based Law Clinics – Filip Czernicki, President of the Polish Legal Clinics Foundation
II. European Pro Bono and Advocacy Trends - Closing Space for Civil Society - Tamas Barabas, PILnet European Office
11:45 - 12:30 Discussion
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 Presentations
III. Declaration and amicus curiae project with pro bono lawyers in Moldova
IV. Monitoring court cases as of a case study – DLA Piper’s Moscow lawyers in Azerbaijan (under preparation)
V. Legal innovation in Moldova – website launched by Turcan Cazac Law Firm, a shortlisted project to the PILnet Global Award
15:00 - 16:00 Discussion on the collaboration of V4 pro bono stakeholders and Moldovan partners

If you are interested in attending the event, please register and this link.

PILnet's 2017 Global Forum in Budapest, 16-19 October 2017

The following Visegrad events will take place within the framework of the upcoming PILnet's 2017 Global Forum in Budapest, 16-19 October 2017. For more information please contact Tamás Barabás at

Title: Global Meeting of Pro Bono Clearinghouses
Date: Monday, 16 October 2017
Timing: 10:00-13:00
Location:Location: CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP., Károlyi utca 12, 1053 Budapest, Hungary
The annual global meeting of pro bono clearinghouses offers a chance to exchange ideas, progress and insight with your peers from around the world. This session is open only to staff from pro bono clearinghouses and other pro bono focused initiatives.

Title: Joint Global Meeting of Clearinghouses and Pro Bono Professionals
Date: Monday, 16 October 2017
Timing: 14:00-17:00
Location: Open Society Initiative Budapest Foundation, Molnar utca 19. Budapest H-1056, Hungary
In this session pro bono professionals from law firms and companies will engage in joint discussions with representatives of clearinghouses to gain insight into developing mutually-effective relationships. This session is open only to individuals managing or coordinating pro bono with law firms and companies, or working in a pro bono clearinghouse or other focused initiatives.

Title: What works and what doesn’t? Workshop on pro bono and on advocacy efforts in Eurasia
Date: Tuesday, 17 October 2017 
Timing: 09:00-12:30 
Location: Open Society Archives, Arany J. str. 32., 1051 Budapest
PILnet convenes this event to share and debate organizational tactics and strategies that aim to combine pro bono resources with advocacy efforts in countries from the Czech Republic to Kazakhstan. Participants will debate and exchange experiences with current challenges of involving commercial law firms and/or individual lawyers in human rights advocacy efforts, and in the development of home-grown pro bono projects. The workshop will take place thanks to the financial support of the International Visegrad Fund and to the in-kind support of the Open Society Archives. 

Pro Bono Roundtable in Ukraine








During the Support trip to Ukraine a Pro Bono Roundtable was held on 20th July 2017 between 11.00 – 14.00 in Freud House" 21 Kostiantynivska St., Kyiv.

The main issues that were discussed:

• Presentation of Ukrainian Pro Bono Clearinghouse.
• How commercial law firms can help civil society and which type of requests do they wait for?
• Pro Bono unit in contemporary Ukrainian law firm: what is it and who is the target audience?
• How can Pro Bono space help our partners - law firms and individual lawyers?
• Pro Bono cases for individuals: role of the Bar.

For more information and for a summary of the meeting plese click here.