To what extent do law firms in the Middle East strengthen access to justice?

Bleskine, Cecile (2015) To what extent do law firms in the Middle East strengthen access to justice? [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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As corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) gains greater emphasis in the values and identity of organisations, pro bono work – a long standing practice rooted in the English and American legal professions to make access to justice available to all – has in turn become an integral component of the CSR agendas and programs of law firms. This dissertation investigates the extent to which law firms strengthen access to justice for people in need through the provision of pro bono work in the Middle East region. Whilst there is ample literature on legal pro bono work undertaken in other parts of the world – mainly the United States and the United Kingdom – there is a gap in the literature when it comes to pro bono work in the Middle East. Such a study is therefore important in identifying the status of pro bono work in this part of the world, as well as shortcomings and opportunities in this area.

Primary data was collected through interviews with key stakeholders and the research findings provide evidence that the provision of pro bono work is significantly less common and institutionalised than in other jurisdictions – despite the presence of international law firms noted for their pro bono programs elsewhere. It also reveals that, resulting from a deeply engrained culture of philanthropy, pro bono is often blurred with community engagement and charity, rather than focusing on the provision of professional services. At the same time, it also emerged that there is a need and a desire to develop pro bono work further in the Middle East.

Accordingly, this dissertation recommends a series of initiatives that could be implemented at the government and private sector level, highlighting the crucial role law firms in the region could play in strengthening access to justice for all.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Bleskine, Cecile
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 13:41
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 01:32

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