What is your mission?
The International Lawyers Project (ILP, formerly ISLP-UK), founded in 2005, exists to connect communities, civil society organisations (CSOs), journalists and reform-minded government officials anywhere in the world with the highest calibre of pro bono legal expertise, to bring about economic justice. Our strategic focus is supporting local actors on economic inequality issues including bribery, tax evasion, Freedom of Information (FOI), media freedom and curbing illicit financial flows.
Our core work is to provide pro bono legal support to civil society and reform-minded governments all over the world, leveraging the knowledge and experience of expert lawyers worldwide. In the last 15 years, we have mobilised volunteer teams to support projects in over 80 different countries and regions, with a focus on the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, ILP provided more than 2,750 hours of pro bono legal advice, with a commercial value of more than £1.75 million.
How does your organisation operate?
Our team identifies pro bono volunteers who have the experience, expertise and time available to take on the request from our database of more than 2,000 senior lawyers, including barristers, judges and professionals with experience from all around the world. We then remain involved until the complete delivery of the assistance to ensure the follow-up and quality of the help provided.
Where do you operate?
From our office in the UK and Nairobi, we operate pro bono with NGOs and legal experts around the world, on a global level.
What kind of assistance do you provide to civil society organisations?
The assistance provided varies according to our clients’ needs: from desk-based legal advice, research and analysis or the reviewing and drafting of new legislation, to more demanding activities, such as court representation, public interest litigation and in-country training and workshops with government officials and civil society organisations to strengthen their skills and knowledge relevant for their work.
Our pro-bono model is flexible and nimble to meet the needs of our partners. Due to our network of law firms and barristers, we are able to provide high calibre pro bono advice within a relatively short period of time. This is necessary to support several of our partners in developing countries to engage with their governments. For example, despite a mere 10-day window provided by the Kenyan government, we were able to assemble a group of experts to provide reviews and recommendations on draft legislation submissions on anti-corruption. ILP’s model enables our civil society organisation partners to effectively play their role in engaging with legislation development and overseeing implementation to enhance accountability.
On what topics relevant to the UNCAC Coalition members could you provide assistance?
Our team has a significant amount of legal and civil society experience in corruption, bribery, asset tracing and asset repatriation issues and these cases form the majority of our current case pipeline. ILP’s work is guided by the principles underpinning the promotion of economic justice, civil liberties, and human rights as we seek to further enhance economic and social justice with a focus on anti-bribery and corruption, tax reform, and media freedom.
What are the criteria organisations should meet to receive assistance from the ILP?
Just apply, send us an email telling us what your problem is and how we might be able to help.
ILP supports activists all over the world: civil society organisations, community groups, journalists and reform-minded anti-corruption government officials, all of whom are committed to tackling poverty, and improving democratic and sustainable reforms through their anti-corruption efforts.
How can organisations access your services?
Just send us a short email! And we will take things from there. You can find more information about ILP’s mission and functioning on our website.
Is there anything that you would like to share?
Through our work, we seek to help NGOs achieve change by:
- Assisting civil society organisations to access, understand and deploy useful legal tools such as sanctions, FOI, civil remedies and other legal avenues in their work.
- Providing expert analysis of who has benefited from corrupt activities, how undermining legal structures allow corruption and what can be done about it.
- Combining legal knowledge, networks of lawyers prepared to take on challenging cases, and a core staff team with a deep understanding of economic justice issues, to enable civil society to hold economic actors and governments to account for their actions.
- Public interest litigation and attempting to set novel judicial precedents against corrupt financial institutions and multinational companies.