SINGAPORE: The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) is seeking more feedback from the legal fraternity and the public to fine tune a scheme for practising lawyers to provide free legal services to those who have difficulty gaining access to such services.
The proposed Community Legal Services (CLS) scheme moots the idea of making it compulsory for lawyers to do 16 hours of pro bono legal work in a year.
The committee studying the CLS initiatives is proposing that the CLS scheme be made up of two components. One is an aspirational target of pro bono hours. The other is the mandatory reporting of the number of pro bono hours completed each year.
SAL said the mandatory reporting system aims to make lawyers aware of their professional responsibility to use their legal expertise to give back to the community.
The SAL said the data collected from the mandatory reporting process will yield a better understanding of the pro bono landscape.
SAL said the next step of having the legal fraternity fulfill a mandatory minimum number of pro bono hours can only be decided when sufficient data has been collected.
SAL said at the moment there is no fixed timeline for the implementation of the next stage. There will be further consultation at that point.
Interested parties may check the SAL website (www.sal.org.sg) for details and email their views to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions is 12 noon on May 14. - CNA/ac
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