The Chief Justice, the Honourable Paul de Jersey has recently commented on the importance of pro bono work by the legal profession, on the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the UQ Pro-bono centre.

Some remarks include:

“… The extent of the pro bono commitment of the profession is not sufficiently well-known and acknowledged, although it has I believe substantially eroded that reputation for rapacity to which I referred at the outset. …”

“… There are, I am told, side benefits. For young lawyers, pro bono work can afford a welcome break from document disclosure in the back room, and they actually get to interact with real people. For the young barrister, pro bono appearances offer an opportunity for court advocacy not otherwise regularly available these days. For students, it involves an invaluable immersion into actual legal practice. …”

The Chief Justice has kindly given his permission for his speech to be published on the Queensland Reports website and it can be accessed by clicking here.