Dentons and Dentons Europe Dabrowski i Wspolnicy
Dentons’ Warsaw office has developed a unique pro bono strategic litigation practice under the visionary leadership of Agnieszka Wardak (Partner and Head of Dentons’ Criminal Litigation and Internal Investigation practice) and Wojciech Kozl´owski (Partner and Head of Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice) to fortify civic freedoms, human rights, and the rule of law in Poland, taking on several cases. One topic they have focused on is countering pro-Nazi propaganda and Holocaust denial. In a major unprecedented case, they are representing two Holocaust survivors and an anti-Nazi resistance fighter, who filed a lawsuit against the publisher of books praising Adolf Hitler and denying the Holocaust. They have also provided support to the Association of Jewish World War II Veterans and Victims in order to enable the publication of a book that reveals the truth about war crimes and the Holocaust and are currently countering xenophobia and ethnic/religious hatred and representing victims of xenophobia and slander who claim a violation of their dignity and identity. Several of these cases concern the protection of personal rights and civil law as well as freedom of expression. Dentons represented blogger Andrzej Radke in a landmark freedom of speech case that they took in cooperation with the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. Mr. Radke, a retired Solidarity activist who had been imprisoned during Soviet times, had published blog posts criticizing the local government’s operations and a video that proved embarrassing for the local government. In another case they represented Polish blogger, Pawel Zieba, who was charged by authorities with a similar petty offense for criticizing the actions of local authorities. Dentons obtained a full acquittal. Additionally, they took on a high-profile case in which Polish poet and activist Jan Kapela was charged with disrespecting the Polish national anthem by modifying the anthem’s lyrics to make a statement about the country’s refusal to take its fair share of refugees. Dentons is determined not only to improve the situation of particular individuals, but to obtain landmark court decisions with far-reaching implications for the interpretation and application of the law.
Forum for Nation Building Nepal
The Forum for Nation Building Nepal (FNB Nepal) launched Community Mobile Legal Clinics (CMLCs) to provide victims with advice on legal issues arising from the 2015 earthquake in eight of the hardest-hit districts in the country. Training of trainers for lawyers and law students was initially completed, along with the publications of booklets and posters. Over the course of a year, 90 CMLCs were conducted, directly benefiting 7,901 people; nine policy advocacy sessions with stakeholders were facilitated, and legal awareness was promoted through social media. The CMLCs were led by lawyers and law students from the FNB Nepal team, which provided legal literacy classes regarding the developments and amenities announced by the government. This was followed by free group and individual legal consultations regarding the reconstruction and other legal complications of the earthquake. Since 2015, FNP Nepal has directly reached 15,766 people through 180 CMLCs.
Gomez-Acebo & Pombo, Fernando Pombo Foundation, and Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes y Pueblos Unidos NGO
Gomez-Acebo & Pombo, Fernando Pombo Foundation (FPF), and Servicio Jesuita a Migrantes y Pueblos Unidos NGO published a unique and groundbreaking practical guide on legal assistance to migrants in detention centers with the goals of: promoting access to and enjoyment of internees’ rights in detention centers; improving the legal assistance of internees; raising awareness with lawyers of the situation of forced migrants; and reinforcing and supporting the legal profession’s efficiency and ability to support vulnerable people in this area. This project has contributed to the advancement of the rule of law by enabling access to justice to forced migrants before, during, and after their stay in a detention center. The seven Spanish Bar Associations in jurisdictions with a detention center have been sent the Guide and website link. They are currently disseminating this material at their southern border hotspots and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, on the North coast of Africa. The Guide was distributed among all of the legal aid lawyers that assisted the persons that arrived at the boat Aquarius in Valencia. Collaboration agreements are being put in place to escalate the dissemination of the work. Programs have now been, or are being, implemented at the Madrid Bar and the Barcelona Bar to provide training and disseminate the use of the website to legal aid lawyers. Subject to funding, they will develop this in the other five bar associations where there are detention centers.