The IBA's Pro Bono Declaration was issued in 2008 with the purpose of encouraging the global growth of pro bono provision and of stating the unequivocal position of the IBA in providing its support to that objective. It includes the following resolutions:

"The IBA is committed to actively encouraging lawyers, judges, law firms, bar associations, law schools, governmental and non governmental organizations to participate in pro bono legal service, and invites them to use and contribute content to the information resources developed by the IBA in this field, notably the web site …"; and

"This declaration launches a broad educational campaign and a multi-year process of consultation by the IBA to establish or promote a pro bono culture, to appreciate the meaning and the importance of pro bono legal service, to identify and agree best practices and desirable specific commitments of time and resources, to deepen the consensus and to make further progress in this field. The Pro Bono and Access to Justice Committee is charged to continue and expand its work in this field and to monitor and report on the application of this declaration."

As part of this process and in recognition of the growing community of clearing houses and the increasingly important role they play in promoting and delivering pro bono assistance, the IBA Pro Bono & Access to Justice Committee has established a Clearing House Directory 'page' on its web-site with the aim of raising awareness of the work of clearing houses among both the IBA's membership and the wider pro bono community as well as making available information concerning the identities and expertise of individual clearing houses to that wider audience.

Initially, the site will be providing a list of clearing houses who have applied to register with the site, together with some basic contact details and a brief description of the services they offer. It is intended that this should enable those in need of help to determine the most appropriate clearing house(s) to contact, as well as enabling other clearing houses to make contact in situations where they may have work that they are unable to place themselves. Equally, this will provide an ability for those wishing to offer pro bono services to identify and contact the clearing house(s) best placed to utilise their help.

It is the intention that not only will we grow the list of participating clearing houses over the months to come but that, as the site becomes established, we can develop it further, for example, by providing access to best practice materials and publicising events that members may be organising. Suggestions as to other facilities that we might be able to provide through the site are welcome.

We do hope that you find the site helpful. Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact: