Lawyers Without Borders (LWOB) is an international non-profit founded in 2000 which engages lawyers around the world in pro bono work, with particular focus on international rule of law issues.
SOAS is proud to host one of the seven formally approved Student Divisions of Lawyers Without Borders, which functions independently from the Law Society. We retain a good working relationship with our colleagues at SOAS LWOB, and our Pro Bono activities often occur in conjunction with them to further our aligned goals.
The Personal Support Unit (PSU) is a charity for people facing court alone, helping people to represent themselves more effectively in civil and family cases and tribunals. This service is provided by trained volunteers based in court buildings, and previous students from SOAS have volunteered and assisted by helping with procedural work and providing emotional support. This year, Dr. Muin Boase, a member of the Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS and lecturer in International Law, is working with the PSU and coordinating a PSU/SOAS Pro-Bono Project, where volunteers will be working at the new part-time service in Barnet.
‘Reprieve’ is an organisation comprised of human rights defenders who provide free legal and investigative support to some of the world’s most vulnerable people: those facing execution, torture, imprisonment, counter-terrorism abuses, assassination and secret prisons. ‘Reprieve’ focus on assistance rather than direct representation, as they work in many jurisdictions and it is difficult to have lawyers who practice in all jurisdictions. This approach allows Reprieve to spread themselves more and help a greater number of people.
Redress is a human rights organisation in the UK that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation. The organisation works with survivors to help restore their dignity and hold torturers accountable. The strategy in which Redress achieves these aims is through casework, advocacy and capacity building. Casework involves providing legal assistance, whilst advocacy involves working with governments, parliaments, international organisations and the media.
Freedom From Torture (FFT) is an organisation in the UK dedicated solely to the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors of torture. The FFT provide counselling, group therapy and ongoing support by running groups like gardening, writing and cookery. Expert medical assessments to support survivors’ asylum claims are also provided, and the FFT use their expertise and evidence to protect and promote survivors’ rights and hold torturers to account. The aims of this organisation revolve around three main objectives: rehabilitation, protection and accountability.