“PILPG has greatly assisted us in changing the jurisprudence in international law in ways that, in my mind, will actually change the course of legal history.” — David Crane, Prosecutor, Special Court for Sierra Leone
The Public International Law & Policy Group is a non-profit organization that operates as a global pro bono law firm to provide free legal assistance to states and governments involved in peace negotiations, advise states on drafting post-conflict constitutions, and assist in prosecuting war criminals. To facilitate the utilization of this legal assistance, PILPG also provides policy formulation advice and training on matters related to conflict resolution.
PILPG’s primary practice areas are:
- Peace Negotiations
- Post-Conflict Constitution Drafting
- War Crimes Prosecution
- Water Diplomacy
- Democracy and Governance
To provide pro bono legal advice and policy formulation expertise, PILPG draws on the volunteer services of more than sixty former legal advisors and former Foreign Service officers from the US Department of State and other foreign ministries. PILPG also draws on pro bono assistance from major international law firms including Baker & McKenzie; Cleary, Gottleib, Steen & Hamilton; Covington & Burling; Davis, Polk & Wardwell; Debevoise & Plimpton; DLA Piper/New Perimeter; Jones Day Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Shearman & Sterling; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Sullivan & Cromwell; White & Case; and WilmerHale. Annually, PILPG is able to provide over $15 million worth of pro bono international legal services.
Frequently, PILPG sends members in-country to facilitate the provision of legal assistance; its members often serve on the delegations of its clients during peace negotiations. PILPG is based in Washington, D.C., with additional offices in New York and Amsterdam. PILPG has also operated field offices in Georgia, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Nepal, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Uganda, and maintains contacts in nearly two dozen key cities around the globe.
PILPG was founded in London in 1995 and moved to Washington, D.C. in 1996, where it operated under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace for two years. In July 1999, the United Nations granted official Non-Governmental Organizations status to PILPG.
In January 2005, a half dozen of PILPG’s pro bono clients nominated PILPG for the Nobel Peace Prize for “significantly contributing to the promotion of peace throughout the globe by providing crucial pro bono legal assistance to states and non-state entities involved in peace negotiations and in bringing war criminals to justice.”