P-PIL (Promoting Public Interest Lawyering) was created as an informal coalition of lawyers and law students by Professor Shamnad Basheer (then a Professor of WB NUJS, Kolkata) to further the cause of public interest through the instrumentality of the law. By virtue of its consistent work in the realm of public interest causes over the years, P-PIL has assumed a more formal structure and is now housed out of IDIA.
What distinguishes P-PIL from various other public interest outfits is the synergistic pairing of law students and lawyers to achieve shared public interest outcomes. In India at least, there is a significant disconnect between legal academia and the legal profession. P-PIL is meant to bridge this huge gap and also engender some experiential learning for law students, many of whom have no exposure to practical training whilst in law school.
In particular, P-PIL will look at representing the under-represented and the under-privileged, upholding human rights and other constitutionally guaranteed rights through various means including the filing of public interest litigation, challenging arbitrary exercise of government power, reducing threats to the independence of the judiciary, protecting our environment and enhancing the “capabilities” of our people by deploying the instrumentality of the law.
P-PIL will build teams of the best law students across India and engage the finest lawyers to brainstorm and push the frontiers of the law to create a better society for all of us.
P-PIL will also aim to do the following:
- Tie up with legal aid clinics across the various leading law schools;
- Foster clinical legal education at the various law schools;
- Work with law firms to help set up pro bono units within;
- Foster a more robust pro bono culture amongst lawyers and the various law firms in this country.
At a broader level, it will aim to connect the various actors, both in India and globally, who attempt to protect and promote public interest through the instrumentality of the law and legal processes.