​The Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department announced that it has completed building the Smart Platform for Pro Bono Legal Services, which is accessible by over 3000 advocates and legal consultants licensed with the Department in the Emirate of Dubai.  The Smart Platform, aims to provide voluntary legal services to members of the public, and is part of the Department's support for charitable and voluntary services provided by advocates and legal consultants in the Emirate.

This initiative, which is first of its kind in the world in terms of the way pro bono legal services are provided, is in line with the directives of the UAE leadership to announce 2017 "the Year of Giving" in the UAE.  This will be achieved by innovatively facilitating access of members of the public to legal advice, which is an important addition to the pro bono legal services provided to the public.

Speaking of the content of the initiative, His Excellency Dr. Lowai Belhoul, Director General of the Department said that the Department has created a smart online platform for pro bono legal services that enables law firms and legal consultants participating in the initiative to enter their details, specify their area of specialty and times to provide free legal advice and services to the public. The details are accessible by members of the public wishing to receive the service and enables them to select convenient dates from the time slots available on the Smart Platform.

His Excellency Dr. Belhoul added that, "this Platform is a permanent channel for communication between law firms and legal consultants and members of the public, especially those unable to afford legal services", noting that the Smart Platform will be mainly focused on providing initial legal advice by participating firms in addition to other legal services.

It should be noted that the Department has previously sought the opinion of law firms and legal consultants in the Emirate of Dubai about the initiative through conducting a survey and holding consultative meetings, which showed that 80% of the firms participating in the survey were willing to take part in the initiative. Furthermore, the Department has recently held seminars for law firms to give them an introduction on the way the initiative works and registration.