At Cambridge LLP we believe that access to justice should be a right, not a privilege. It is because of this belief that we recognize pro bono legal services as an integral part of our professional responsibility and growth. Our team is dedicated to assisting individuals who would otherwise have difficulty accessing the justice system in dealing with their pressing legal issues. Our international practice places us in the unique position of being able to lend our time and expertise to cases around the world.
Our not-for-profit efforts also include involvement in numerous community initiatives and charitable groups, as well as serving on the boards/committees of various organizations. We are active and proud members of both the local and global community.
Duty to Protect Canadians Abroad
Chris MacLeod, a Partner in Cambridge LLP, is co-chair of the National Council for the Protection of Canadians Abroad (NCPCA) legal team that presented arguments at the November 13, 2009 Supreme Court of Canada hearing of the Omar Khadr case, citing Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law obligations. Chris is also co-spokesman for the NCPCA, along with Dean Peroff of the firm Amsterdam and Peroff. The organization was established in 2008 by a group of Canadian lawyers, academics, entrepreneurs and other professionals who are committed to helping Canadians in cases where they are experiencing legal issues or crisis situations while outside of Canada’s borders.
Chris was featured on the radio show The Forum: A Marketplace for Stories and Ideas, where he discussed his work with the NCPCA.
An example of our pro bono efforts is the representation of human rights activist Huseyincan Celil and his family. Mr. Celil is a Canadian citizen who has been sentenced to life in a Chinese prison for advocating for the rights of the Uyghur minority (the Muslim minority in Northwestern China). The Chinese have called the case an “internal affair” and have requested that Canada not interfere as they do not recognize Celil’s Canadian citizenship. Since his arrest in 2006, allegations have surfaced that Celil was tortured and forced to sign a confession statement under duress. Cambridge LLP is working with the Canadian government, Amnesty International and other NGO’s to secure his safe release and return to Canada.