Moderator: Adaobi Egboka, Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, USA

  • Funmi Ayeni, Executive Director of the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership, Nigeria
  • Teresa Yates, past National Director of, South Africa
  • Paula Samper, partner, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados, Colombia
  • Assunta Ndami, Program Lead, Pro Bono Institiute of Kenya
  • Ignacio Obando Erbs, Coordinator, Red Pro Bono de las Américas, Chile
8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Friday, Nov 3, 2023 (virtual)

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Friday, November 3rd
8:30 AM

Advancing Access to Justice in sub- Saharan Africa and Latin America: Innovative Strategies and Methods.

Adaobi Egboka


8:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Access to justice in sub-Saharan Africa is a priority for many stakeholders who aim to support communities that have been impacted by Africa's history of colonization. Ensuring access to justice for all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic background or cultural heritage, is essential for upholding human rights, promoting social cohesion, and supporting sustainable development throughout the continent. NGOs and other justice actors have actively provided access to justice in many countries but have relied on donor funding for their services. However, donor funding is decreasing in many regions, and governments are increasingly closing civic spaces, making it challenging for NGOs to support unmet legal needs. However, more resources and infrastructure are needed to provide legal aid to those in need, leaving many individuals across the continent with significant barriers to justice. These barriers include financial constraints, limited legal awareness, and a need for more high-quality legal assistance. This panel will discuss models tested in three countries in Africa and Latin America, creating a collaborative effort between law firms and NGOs, public–private partnerships to support access to justice and good governance through pro bono clearinghouses. Panelists will share their experiences working in collaboration with law firms, academic institutions, and NGOs, as well as using a public-private partnership to create a hub to support access to justice. The panel will discuss the benefits and challenges of how collaborative structures between pro bono actors can strengthen access to justice. It will argue that the clearinghouse model is innovative for advancing access to justice in Africa as an approach and model. The experience sharing will facilitate in-depth discussions, knowledge exchange, and collaborative learning to contribute to increasing access to justice in Africa.