South Africa: New Perimeter: Pro Bono for our world - (Part 2)
Last Updated: 25 March 2012

Access to justice and law reform


One of New Perimeter's earliest projects involved the establishment of the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). A joint venture of the International Bar Association, the Open Society Institute of Southern Africa and New Perimeter, SALC was created to fill a void in human rights training, support and resources in the region. SALC currently supports under-resourced human rights lawyers in ten Southern African countries.


Access to justice in Namibia is severely limited by economic and geographic boundaries. There is a critical need to increase access to justice for the thousands of rural Namibians who have little opportunity to obtain information about their legal and political rights. The Namibia Paralegal Association (NPA) is helping to address this need. To support the NPA, New Perimeter prepared a comprehensive paralegal resource manual and will conduct in-country training workshops to build the capacity of NPA volunteers.


New Perimeter's project focused on restoring Kosovo's judicial and prosecutorial systems and transferring judicial functions from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to local control. A team of DLA Piper lawyers assisted working groups composed primarily of local judges and prosecutors to draft new laws creating the Kosovar court system and system of prosecution. The Kosovo Law on Courts, Law on State Prosecutor and the laws on the Kosovo Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils were passed by the Kosovo Assembly and signed into law by the President in 2010. The New Perimeter team also provided legal skills training to lawyers in the Kosovo Ministry of Justice.

Gender Equality


In collaboration with international advocacy group AIDS-Free World, New Perimeter worked to document and combat human rights abuses committed against Zimbabwean women in conjunction with the 2008 Zimbabwe presidential elections. A New Perimeter team of DLA Piper lawyers participated in four trips to southern Africa to interview Zimbabwean women who were targeted with sexual violence because of their political views. The team drafted sworn affidavits for over 70 women outlining the details of the abuse. New Perimeter's assistance was vital in producing the report: Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. New Perimeter lawyers also helped AIDS-Free World create litigation and advocacy strategies with the dual goals of bringing about accountability and raising awareness of these grave human rights abuses.


New Perimeter assisted Vital Voices Global Partnership in planning and implementing a program on women's political empowerment at the Vital Voices of Asia Summit. The summit in New Delhi, India brought together women leaders from across Asia to highlight the critical role that women can and must play in moving the region forward socially, politically and economically. New Perimeter designed the agenda and secured speakers on issues such as increasing women's political participation, advancing policies that promote gender equality, promoting good governance and combating corruption.


In partnership with the International Republican Institute (IRI), New Perimeter provided technical assistance to the Peruvian Multiparty Parliamentary Women's Caucus as part of its work addressing the nation's domestic violence problem. New Perimeter sent a team of lawyers to Peru to work with this dynamic group of congresswomen as they drafted new legislation against domestic violence. New Perimeter researched global best practices with respect to domestic violence victim protection and provided guidance on how best to reflect such practices in Peruvian law.


New Perimeter assisted international development group CARE in carrying out a pilot advocacy project in Africa to help increase women's access to financial services, address gender exclusion and increase gender equity. A team of New Perimeter lawyers evaluated the legal and regulatory schemes and policy strategies in place in Malawi, Rwanda and Mali and assessed how they impact women's ability to access savings and credit services in those countries. New Perimeter lawyers travelled to Malawi and Rwanda in 2011 to present their findings and to help local CARE office staff identify financial inclusion advocacy opportunities.

Legal Education


New Perimeter works with Mexico Appleseed to help create a sustainable pro bono culture and network in Mexico. This initiative includes three major components: teaching law students about the importance of pro bono and how to implement pro bono programs in law firms; examining how the US and Mexican governments treat the thousands of unaccompanied Mexican minors apprehended each year as they try to cross the US border; and assisting the Mexican Pro Bono Network to build a pro bono culture throughout the local legal profession.


Although the premier law school in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa Law School faces a critical lack of resources. In cooperation with project partners Northwestern Law School and Accenture, nine teams of lawyers from 16 DLA Piper offices travelled to Addis Ababa to work with local faculty members and teach courses to Ethiopian graduate law students on topics including international business negotiations, international arbitration and international taxation. In addition, the DLA Piper Foundation issued a significant grant to the Law School, which purchased legal texts, bought updated technology for faculty and classroom use, funded research grants for faculty members and underwrote the publication of the Journal of Ethiopian Law.


New Perimeter partners with DLA Piper clients General Electric (GE) and Barclay's Bank and Tanzaniabased DLA Piper Group firm IMMMA Advocates on a teaching project in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Teams of lawyers teach legal drafting alongside GE and Barclays senior in-house counsel at the Law School of Tanzania. The project is designed to increase the capacity of the faculty at the Law School. More than 340 Tanzanian law students have benefitted from the teaching sessions.


New Perimeter provided training on advanced trial skills to Guyanese magistrate judges and prosecutors as part of the government's Justice Sector Reform project. A multinational team of DLA Piper lawyers prepared desk reference manuals and travelled to Guyana to deliver innovative simulationbased workshops. The magistrates' workshops focused on trial management skills, an anti-money laundering law and bail setting. The workshop for prosecutors focused on trial advocacy skills including crossexamining witnesses, introducing documents and physical evidence and establishing chain of custody.


A New Perimeter team of DLA Piper lawyers from the UK, US, Australia and South Africa (through affiliate firm DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr) provided training to legal staff at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), South Africa's national human rights institution. Developed by the New Perimeter team specifically for the SAHRC, the course aimed at refining general lawyering skills through interactive sessions and participation in legal drafting exercises and a mock mediation. Course topics included interviewing skills, information gathering, legal drafting, factual and legal analysis, alternative dispute resolution and procedure and practice in South African courts.

Economic Developement


Under the direction of Finance Minister Emilia Pires, the Government of Timor-Leste has given high priority to economic development. One aspect of the government's economic development plan is to consider the creation of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) - designated geographic areas that typically have economic laws more progressive than those in the rest of a country. New Perimeter undertook a comprehensive study and prepared a report which assessed SEZ successes and failures, identified best practices in existing global SEZs and discussed the risks and benefits relating to the creation of an SEZ in Timor-Leste. New Perimeter continues to work with the government as it assesses the feasibility of an SEZ in Timor-Leste.


New Perimeter lawyers work with The Omba Arts Trust, a Namibian nonprofit which provides product development, training, mentoring and sales/marketing support to rural art and craft producers throughout Namibia. Omba has built relationships with more than 600 Namibian producers, most of whom are women working in very small, very remote rural communities. Through Omba, these women are linked to national, regional and international markets to which they would otherwise not have access. New Perimeter recently joined forces with a multi-disciplinary team of experts to advise Omba through an intensive corporate restructuring of part of its operations.

Hunger and Food Security


New Perimeter lawyers supported the creation and operation of a multinational hunger relief nonprofit, The Global Food Banking Network (GFN, GFN focuses on the development of national networks of food banks and stronger international food banking. Work for the GFN included corporate formation and governance, tax work and assistance with various contracts.

Environment Protection


New Perimeter provided pro bono legal support to HRH Prince of Wales Rainforest Project, an initiative launched to identify appropriate incentives to encourage rainforest nations to slow their deforestation rates and to raise awareness of the link between rainforests and climate change. New Perimeter's work was focused in Peru and Colombia, where New Perimeter lawyers established relationships with local counsel to assess pertinent legislation, customary law and actual practice. The lawyers compared local law with international norms and best practices. The final step of this work was to develop strategies for legal developments aimed at encouraging collaboration among national government, local communities and the corporate sector to promote reforestation and other means for rendering rainforests profitable and self-sustaining.

Advisory Board

Judge Wald served for 20 years on the DC Circuit Court, including a stint as the Chief Judge.

esther Lardent is President and Chief executive Officer of the Pro Bono institute, promoting pro bono among law firms and the corporate community.

Barbara Arnwine is the executive Director of the National Office of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights under Law.

irwin Cotler is a constitutional and comparative law scholar, international human rights lawyer, counselor to prisoners of conscience, NGO head, community leader, and peace activist, Member of the Canadian Parliament since 1999, and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

senator tom Daschle is a senior Policy Advisor in DLA Piper's Government Affairs practice and serves as a member of DLA Piper's Global Board. he is one of the longest serving Democratic leaders in us senate history.

Mike Doyle is the former President and Chief executive Officer of ChF international, a humanitarian and international development group founded in 1952 to assist low-income communities working toward long-term economic improvement and stability.

Mark ellis is the executive Director of the international Bar Association (iBA), the leading international group of bar associations and individual lawyers in the world.

Jared Genser is the Managing Director of Perseus strategies and the founder of Freedom Now, an NGO that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide.

Professor sheldon krantz is the former Director of New Perimeter and a former litigation partner at DLA Piper whose practice focused on white collar criminal defence. Professor krantz now teaches at the university of Maryland Francis king Carey school of Law.

Christine Jesseman is the Director of the Pro Bono and human Rights practice at Cliffe Dekker hofmeyr, DLA Piper's south African group firm.

After 25 years of service, Ambassador kelly recently retired from the us state Department and joined the Cohen Group as Vice President.

stasia kelly is a partner in DLA Piper's White Collar, Corporate Crime and investigation practice, based in Washington, DC.

Professor sheldon krantz is the former Director of New Perimeter and a former litigation partner at DLA Piper whose practice focused on white collar criminal defence. Professor krantz now teaches at the university of Maryland Francis king Carey school of Law.

Janet Legrand is senior Partner and Chair of the Board of DLA Piper international.

susan Liss is the executive Director of the Campaign for tobacco-Free kids.

Nicolas Patrick is a partner and the head of Pro Bono and Corporate Responsibility for europe, Middle east and Asia Pacific at DLA Piper.

Robert scott is the former senior Vice President and General Counsel of starwood hotels and Resorts Worldwide – europe, Africa, and Middle east Division.

Paul Williams is the co-founder and executive Director of the Public international Law & Policy Group (PiLPG), which provides pro bono legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, drafting post-conflict constitutions, and prosecuting war criminals.

Philip Zeidman is a senior partner in DLA Piper's Franchise and Distribution practice.

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