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Pro Bono Work

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, what action he is taking to promote pro bono work in the legal profession; and if he will make a statement. [120006]

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) has a seat on the Attorney General's National Pro Bono Co-ordinating Committee, whose aims are to increase awareness of pro bono work in the legal professions and beyond and to encourage increased participation.The DCA also provides the Committee with secretarial support. We provide 50 per cent. of the funding (in partnership with the Active Community Unit of the Home Office) for the LawWorks project an initiative between the Solicitors Pro Bono Group, the Law Centres Federation and the Bar Pro Bono Unit. This amounts to £345,000 over three years. The initiative aims to create 2,000 new volunteering opportunities by June 2004 and provide public access to electronic pro bono advice.