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Justice Pro Bono recognizes the importance of all the
pro bono legal services offered to Quebecers.

Justice Pro Bono celebrates a decade of achievements with a new look!

Montreal, February 21, 2019 – Last night, during a festive evening dedicated to gastronomy, Justice Pro Bono, Pro Bono Québec’s new name, celebrated its tenth anniversary. Ten years during which the Quebec legal community has demonstrated that it is committed to access to justice for all Quebecers. Under the honorary chairmanship of Caroline Poirier, Vice-President, Legal Affairs at TELUS and Daniel Desjardins, Senior Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretary of Bombardier Inc., guests could recall the organization’s accomplishments over the past decade.

Since its inception, Justice Pro Bono has been able to coordinate hundreds of interventions from law firms that adhere to the pro bono philosophy, thus demonstrating the involvement of lawyers in the community. After ten years, Justice Pro Bono is proud to have handled nearly 1,850 citizen requests and answered more than 15,000 requests for information to guide Quebecers through the legal maze.

Among the most high-profile cases, consider the recent case of Marie-Ève Maillé, a UQAM researcher called as an expert witness in a class action against a wind power project, who was successfully represented by a lawyer referred by Justice Pro Bono when the company targeted by the action wanted to force her to reveal the identity of the people she met in the course of research on the wind power project.

Making a fresh start while pursuing the mission

Designed by the Réservoir firm, the new brand retains the term “Pro Bono”, evoking the services offered voluntarily by lawyers from all regions of Quebec to give access to justice to the greatest number of people as possible, particularly the most disadvantaged. The signature “Volunteer Lawyers” also makes it easier to understand the services provided by the organization to its clients.

“With its refreshed visual elements and simplicity, the new brand better reflects the organization’s mission and we are confident that it will stand the test of time, allowing a greater number of Quebec lawyers and litigants to rally around it. We particularly appreciate the heart it contains because it represents the empathy and accessibility of lawyers who volunteer their legal expertise to people who could not otherwise afford it,” commented Nancy Leggett-Bachand, Executive Director of Justice Pro Bono.

Beautiful achievements with a promising future

Justice Pro Bono is looking forward to continuing its momentum in the coming years. The organization already has a track record of structuring projects to provide access to legal information and justice. Let us think of the first medical-legal partnership in Quebec set up at the Montreal Children’s Hospital almost two years ago, or the legal “clinics” dedicated to the most remote populations of the Far North, as well as the free legal consultations in partnership with Médecins du Monde. The Legal Compass, an essential research tool for disadvantaged clients with legal problems, has also been very successful, as has the Public Interest Cases Program for those who do not have access to legal aid.

Drawing on the lessons learned from natural, accidental or environmental disasters such as the sad episodes experienced during the Lac-Mégantic tragedy and the Pierrefonds floods, Justice Pro Bono is also working to set up, in the near future, a “legal crisis unit” that will mobilize the legal community. Lawyers in the regions concerned will thus be able to offer free time and expertise to people in precarious situations.

 

Justice Pro Bono launches a new project for better access to family justice in the Laurentians: Gate 33

Referring to Article 33 of Quebec’s Civil Code, the project aims to offer legal and psychosocial resources, focusing on the child’s best interests, to families experiencing a separation. The project’s objective is twofold: to improve access to family justice and to mitigate the impact of separation on the child’s life.

Gate 33 has three components:

1. A mobile legal clinic  

Volunteer lawyers are providing legal information in family law, on an individual basis, as well as useful information to understand how to accompany a child through a separation. These clinics were offered in various Family organizations in the Laurentians region in the fall 2018 and winter 2019 and more will be available in fall 2019. Information to come.

To make an appointment call: 514-904-1076 ext. 603

2.  Training for lawyers (in French)

On October 16, 2018, The Socio-Legal Partnership during a Separation: Ally in the Best Interests of the Child training course was held. This training was aiming at preparing the lawyers who will participate in the itinerant clinic. In return for six (6) hours of continuing education, the lawyers committed to offering three (3) hours of pro bono work in the mobile clinic.

On May 1, 2019, the Dynamics of Separation and Children’s Needs training was held to equip the lawyers and notaries participating in the clinic and offer them strategies to implement promising social-legal partnerships. The state of psychosocial research on the needs of children of separated parents and their families was discussed.

For more details (in French) 

For information: ebrien@justiceprobono.ca

3.  A website

Details to come

This project is made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Law Foundation of Ontario and the support of our valuable partners: Regroupement des organismes communautaires Famille autonomes des Laurentides and the Laurentides-Lanaudière legal community center.

JUSTICE PRO BONO launches an e-book to help separating parents

Montreal, May 3, 2019 – Listening to parents experiencing separation, Justice Pro Bono recently launched Gate 33: Guiding Family Separation, an electronic book that provides parents in this situation with tools and guidance from a multidisciplinary perspective.

This e-book is another step in the Gate 33 project, an initiative of Justice Pro Bono, which sheds light on the right of children to have decisions affecting them made in their best interests and with respect for their rights. Based on article 33 of the Civil Code of Québec, which enshrines this principle, the Gate 33 project aims to provide legal and psychosocial resources, focused on the best interests of the child, to families in the process of separation. The e-book now available to Quebec families is an essential resource for parents concerned about a smooth transition that tends to mitigate the negative impacts of separation on their children’s lives.

“The needs of separating parents go beyond the practice of single expertise. They are the result of various concerns, whether legal, psychological or financial, to name a few. Our new e-book offers families a multidisciplinary response to a multifaceted situation,” said Émilie Brien, Project Manager, Justice Pro Bono.

The e-book addresses five main themes: break-up and co-parenting, steps to take in a difficult situation, children, asset sharing and finances. Available free of charge to all Quebecers, this document is intended to be a visual, simple and interactive tool. Several organizations and experts contributed to its drafting, including the Barreau du Québec, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, Éducaloi and the Association de médiation familiale du Québec.

For more information, please contact:

Me Émilie Brien

E-mail: ebrien@justiceprobono.ca