NI: IRLI charity forges partnership with Bar of NI and Law Society NI

Emma Dwyer
Emma Dwyer, IRLI co-ordinator

An Irish charity that promotes the rule of law in developing countries is partnering with the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Law Society of Northern Ireland in a bid to expand its volunteer base.

Irish Rule of Law International (IRLI) hosted a public event in conjunction with the lawyers’ representative bodies in Belfast this afternoon.

Emma Dwyer, an IRLI co-ordinator, told Irish Legal News that the Bar Council and Law Society will be “promoting the work of the charity among the profession” in Northern Ireland and helping to organise a joint programme next year.

The charity was founded in 2007 as a joint initiative between the Bar Council of Ireland and the Law Society of Ireland.

It partners up with law societies in principally African countries to help promote access to justice and the rule of law.

Ms Dwyer explained: “They’ll come to us and say, for example, ‘We need training in arbitration for our magistrates - is this something you can do?’

“Then we put our feelers through the legal community to see who has the expertise in that area and who might be available to travel or develop material.”

Ms Dwyer said IRLI was delighted to now launch a partnership that brings together the “four different legal bodies” to promote the work of its volunteer lawyers, and that it wanted to expand its Northern Ireland volunteer base for joint projects abroad.

Northern Ireland barrister Sarah McGuckin is already working with the charity on its Access to Justice Programme in Malawi.

In a video published on YouTube, Ms McGuckin talks about volunteering in Malawi and working with the Legal Aid Bureau in the Malawi capital Lilongwe.

Ms Dwyer said: “One of the things we’re highlighting today is that we already have a volunteer from Northern Ireland and that there are opportunities for more people to get involved.”

You can find out more about the charity’s work on the IRLI website.

Information about volunteer opportunities is distributed through IRLI’s free online newsletter.

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