Faculty of Law Student-Run Organization Pro Bono Canada receives 2019 Emil Gumpert Award to Help Pilot Indigenous Human Rights Program

Posted on Friday, March 29, 2019

The American College of Trial Lawyers has announced that Pro Bono Canada is the 2019 Emil Gumpert Award recipient,. Pro Bono Canada is a student-run program at the University of Ottawa. Each year, a student coordinator from the Faculty of Law runs program activities in collaboration with Pro Bono Canada. The Emil Gumpert Award will allow the organization to pilot an Indigenous Human Rights Program.

Using this grant, Pro Bono Canada will open two pilot Indigenous Human Rights clinics, one in Toronto and one in Ottawa, housed in Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC). The clinics will be staffed by volunteer law students, including from the University of Ottawa, and pro bono human rights lawyers, whose main objective will be to provide culturally-sensitive legal services to Indigenous people.

The clinics will:

  • Assist clients to identify, draft and file human rights complaints with provincial and federal human rights bodies;
  • Provide pro bono representation to clients in mediations or at hearings before human rights tribunals;
  • Develop and deliver public legal education workshops; and
  • Assist community organizations to document systemic human rights abuses, over time creating an evidentiary foundation for advocacy, law reform and litigation, with and on behalf of Indigenous communities.

This award of $100,000 is made in honor of the late Honorable Emil Gumpert, Chancellor-Founder of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Judge Gumpert, throughout 50+ years professional career as an eminent trial lawyer, State Bar president, and trial judge, devoted himself to the administration of justice and to the improvement of trial practice. 

The award recognizes programs whose principal purpose is to maintain and improve the administration of justice.

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