ADGM Courts launch new Pro Bono Legal Assistance SchemeADGM Courts 22/04/2020
- New scheme provides free legal advice for individuals with limited financial means
- Panel of lawyers from ADGM law firms to volunteer their services
Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts (ADGM Courts) today launched a new pro bono legal assistance scheme (Pro Bono Scheme) that will provide free legal advice to individuals with limited financial means. The Pro Bono Scheme is a new permanent feature and a further example of ADGM Courts’ ongoing commitment to supporting the development of the UAE justice system. An essential requirement for a fair and accessible justice system is that all individuals, regardless of their financial means, have access to legal assistance to protect their rights and interests.
Under the Pro Bono Scheme, pro bono clients will be able to access free legal advice on their rights and obligations in regard to a civil or commercial dispute or other issue that falls within the Courts’ jurisdiction. Pro bono assistance is not available for criminal, family or inheritance issues. These legal services will be provided by volunteer lawyers from law firms in ADGM during a consultation session at the Pro Bono Office at Al Maqam Tower on Al Maryah Island or, for urgent issues, via a Legal Assistance Helpline. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, all consultations will be conducted via the Legal Assistance Helpline.
Commenting on the Pro Bono Scheme, Lord David Hope, Chief Justice of ADGM Courts said: “We are committed to providing world-class dispute resolution services to all of our community members, regardless of their financial status. Through a panel of leading lawyers, the ‘Pro Bono Scheme’ will offer free legal assistance to individuals facing financial hardship on any issues that fall within the Courts’ jurisdiction. Coming out of these challenging times, we may see an increase in enquiries from individuals seeking legal advice on their rights and obligations. The Pro Bono Scheme comes just in time as we continue our focus on supporting the growth of a progressive, equitable, transparent and accessible judicial system in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and the wider MENA region. We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the law firms and their lawyers who have so generously agreed to volunteer their services for the scheme.”
Consistent with ADGM Courts’ digital approach in all aspects of their work, individuals can apply for assistance from the Pro Bono Scheme via the ADGM Courts’ eCourts Platform, where they must provide proof of financial need. Once accepted, pro bono clients will be connected with a pro bono lawyer for a free legal consultation giving advice and guidance.
The creation of the Pro Bono Scheme is the latest in a series of ADGM Courts’ initiatives that have advanced the framework of civil and commercial justice in the UAE. The new initiative is set to serve the ADGM community and the wider business ecosystem in the UAE in light of the current COVID-19 situation and the disruption of businesses across the globe.
In 2018, ADGM Courts introduced their eCourts Platform, a revolutionary, full-service online judicial dispute resolution platform that enables participants to manage cases in real time anywhere in the world. During the same year, ADGM Courts created the world’s first electronic hearing room, a revolutionary end-to-end digital courtroom that has saved hundreds of participants countless hours and legal fees.
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