TrustLaw connects high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to create social and environmental change with the best law firms and corporate legal teams to provide them with free legal assistance.
This project was nominated for the TrustLaw Collaboration Award, which showcases highly effective working relationships between pro bono providers and recipients that have dramatically increased the potential impact of projects as a result.
Fundación Poder Ciudadano, the Argentinean chapter of the international anti-corruption organisation Transparency International, has advocated for good governance in the country for the past 30 years.
In Argentina, there are no laws or regulations monitoring asset recovery and distribution is reportedly arbitrarily decided by each judge. In 2018, Argentina ranked 85 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s corruption perception index.
In order to improve asset recovery in corruption cases in Argentina, NGO Fundación Poder Ciudadano contacted TrustLaw, the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono service, to conduct legal research on the legislation surrounding asset recovery in corruption cases and to better understand the legal framework in different jurisdictions. Using this research, the NGO would then be best placed to form and suggest solutions to Argentina’s legal and institutional framework.
TrustLaw connected Fundación Poder Ciudadano with three law firms to produce the legal reports on the legislation in their respective jurisdictions – Steptoe and Johnson (United States), Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados (Brazil) and Legance Studio Legale Associato (Italy).
“This project allowed us to get access, in a practical way, to information about cases and legislation in other countries. Had it not been for the analysis of the law firms involved, it would have been very difficult for us to obtain and understand this information on our own,” said German Emanuele, International Lawyer at Fundación Poder Ciudadano. “The legal research has the potential to have a great impact in Argentina as large portions of society are calling for greater transparency regarding the prosecution of corruption crimes and stolen assets recovery.”
“If Argentina manages to develop a new legal framework on this issue, it may inspire similar initiatives in Brazil and in other Latin American countries. Therefore, it can have a significant regional and international impact,” said Camila Rolim de Moura Lessi Rabello at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados.