Australian Volunteers International

Lawyers promoting environmental and social justice in the Blue Pacific region

Using legal experience and expertise to provide pro bono support to local partners working at the forefront of the climate crisis.

Pilot pre-departure briefing 2023

AVI has partnered with some of Australia’s leading law firms to form the Blue Pacific Pro Bono Collaborative.

AVI supports The Collaborative to connect with and consult partners across the Pacific, and identify unmet legal needs and demand for support. This is then matched with The Collaborative’s available expertise, where local expertise does not exist or is inaccessible.

In addition to providing pro bono legal services, The Collaborative also aims to support and celebrate a pro bono culture across the Pacific, in recognition of the strong commitment of many Pacific lawyers to enhancing access to justice through pro bono work.

The Pilot

In 2023, nine Australian lawyers worked with Fiji Law Society and eight Fijian lawyers to provide pro bono support to the Pacific Community (SPC), an international development organisation owned and governed by 27 Blue Pacific country and territory members. The lawyers provided over 1,360 hours of pro bono legal support to critical climate and energy transition projects under SPC’s mandate through hybrid assignments which included a two week in-country component 

Read Claire’s story

Scaling up

Following the pilot, The Collaborative received funding from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office through the Integrated Security Fund (ISF). The funding has enabled The Collaborative to scale up its activities and to recruit an embedded legal adviser based in Fiji who will work closely with partner organisations to conduct in-depth project scoping and identify legal needs. 

With the help of the embedded Legal Advisor, The Collaborative is now exploring other initiatives to support in its next phase. Some of the projects being scoped include legal clinics to improve access to justice for communities across Fiji, as well as work on law and order and climate security. Having consistent, local legal expertise at the heart of this program will ensure ongoing impact and sustainability through the life of the projects.

Read the full announcement


Learn more

What do volunteer lawyers and the Pacific Islands’ first UNESCO Global Geopark have to do with climate change? Watch this recording of our virtual event to find out.

Watch the webinar

Pilot pre-departure briefing 2023

Proudly supported by UK International Development through the Integrated Security Fund.