By: Shanti Ariker and Mary Wilder
The latest pro bono effort by Salesforce.org and Salesforce legal teams was done on a global basis, with lawyers from Paris, London, Toronto, San Francisco and New York contributing to the efforts. The combined Salesforce legal teams partnered with Baker & McKenzie to draft a toolkit for judges in South Asia adjudicating terrorism cases in their national courts. The toolkit was designed to support the effective adjudication of terrorism cases by judges from the member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
Since the start of the legal teams’ Pro Bono Program just last year, they have been eager to find a global project that could be done by any Salesforce lawyers around the world – working with Baker made so much sense, since they are a truly global firm and matched Salesforce lawyers up with lawyers in offices nearby in each country. The toolkit was a collaborative partnership between the two organizations with a truly global scope resulting in one of the strongest pro bono efforts the team has undertaken to date.
The final product was recently submitted to the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) of the UN and its partner, the Global Center on Cooperative Security. The purpose of the toolkit is to provide guidance to the South Asian judges and judicial training academies in the region that is practice-oriented and in line with customary international and human rights law and norms relating to various issues relating to proceedings in their national courts involving terrorism offenses.
The project involved the Baker & Salesforce team members venturing out of their day-to-day world of corporate law and wading deeply into the weeds of public international law- a field foreign to most of the team. In October, CTED and the Global Center, with the support of the Australian and US Governments, are hosting the 10th Regional Workshop in Bangkok for Judges, Prosecutors, and Police in South Asia on Effectively Countering Terrorism, and will utilize the toolkit as part of their discussions. Discussions and exchanges amongst judges from South Asia at this series of workshops revealed the need for a written regional product to improve the handling and management of terrorism cases It is anticipated that the toolkit will be used as template to be adapted by judges and judicial academies in other regions throughout the world.
“This is teamwork at its best,” Robert Lewis of Baker & McKenzie said, “I hesitate to use the adverb “ably” following “discharged” because “ably” doesn’t come close to describing the breath taking quality of your work.”
Learn more about Salesforce.org’s Pro Bono Program.