On Thursday 10 April 2014, Budidjaja & Associates hosted a visit from Mr. Michael J. Reynolds, the President of the International Bar Association (IBA), by facilitating a forum discussion on the topic of “Lawyers, Human Rights and Justice”. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Rahmat Soemadipradja. Partners from a number of Indonesian law firms and the Chair of YLBHI, Mr. Alvon K. Palma, were among the attendees.
Prof. Patrick Talbot from the Universitas Pelita Harapan opened the discussions with a presentation entitled “The Role of Lawyers in Defending Human Rights and Upholding Justice”. His presentation touched on sections of the Holy Scripture which could be interpreted as encouraging the upholding of human rights. In his keynote address, Mr. Reynolds covered the IBA’s role as the world’s leading organisation of legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. He explained the function of the IBA’s Institute of Human Rights (IBAHRI) which was established in 1995 to highlight international human rights issues amongst legal communities. Mr. Reynolds closed his presentation by inviting participants to attend the IBA’s Annual Conference in Tokyo in October this year. The conference will focus on climate change, justice and human rights.
During a lively Q&A session, there was much discussion about the lack of lawyers in Indonesia willing to support human rights and environmental issues. Many of the participants encouraged each other to engage in pro bono legal work and identified corporate social responsibility as a vehicle for justice and human rights.
The forum concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between YLBHI and Budidjaja Institute to establish a “Human Rights Clinic” to provide education and training on human rights. The Clinic will be supervised by Mr. Tony Budidjaja. One of the Clinic’s priorities is to engage Indonesian advocates working for large corporations in promoting and protecting human rights. The initial focus of the Clinic will be on the issue of human trafficking.