Investor workshop and justice innovation award session

How can we help justice innovators and entrepreneurs receive timely, smart and effective access to funding and investments?
Wednesday 11 December 2013


M-SHERIA helps Kenyans to get high quality legal aid by giving them a platform to send a legal question via sms. This is just one of the justice innovations coming out of Africa.

Investors are almost standing in line to start investing in Africa. But the lack of good governance and a reliable rule of law seem to hold them back. What if we were to invest in top justice- and governance entrepreneurs in Africa first? Could that not be a very useful starting point?

Foundations, donor organisations and private- and public-sector investors are very much aware of the financial and social benefits of targeted investing in bottom-up private initiatives and entrepreneurship. In recent years, investments in innovation have become an even more important driving force to support the transition of societies towards new technologies and more modern processes. At HiiL, we have had the privilege of watching and supporting the emergence of a global justice innovation community and the gradual expansion of knowledge about what makes justice innovation processes succeed.

At the same time, there is a growing awareness that a sufficient level of Justice and the Rule of Law is an essential pre-condition for reaping the rewards of any investment. Effective rule making, conflict resolution mechanisms and effective institutions not only prevent and mitigate conflict and violence and people’s access to services. They also promote equitable development outcomes and enable investment and private sector growth. Legal certainty and a certain degree of predictability is essential for a business community to flourish.

Yet it is still very hard to find any organisation specialising in investing in, or funding justice entrepreneurship and justice innovation. There is a clear need for more structured access to funders and investments in the justice sector. Justice investments seem to have been more top down oriented so far (investing in public institutions), rather than oriented towards private initiatives or enterprises that improve justice from the bottom up.

At HiiL we are confronted on a daily basis with this missing component. On the one hand, there are very large budgets set aside for justice development in the public sector. On the other hand, we see many innovators needing only a fraction of those budgets to make a real difference who cannot find even a small amount of funding. Some of them are non-profit initiatives. Others are private sector ventures that can also lead to a handsome return on investment for investors. In addition, some private justice innovations are not merely local- or national endeavors. Their impact could be felt internationally, across national boundaries.

In the context of our annual Innovating Justice Forum, we are gathering a selected group of investors, donor organisations and justice leaders with a financial mindset to consider different solutions for this problem. We will look for answers to the following questions: How can we help justice innovators and entrepreneurs receive timely, smart and effective access to funding and investments?

Registration to this workshop also gets you a ticket to the innovation award pitches, the top 9 nominee innovators presenting their innovation later in the afternoon and the award ceremony for the winners of this year’s justice innovation awards.

Date and time: 11 December

  • 12:00 – 13:30: Participation to the Innovating Justice Forum lunch
  • 13:30 – 15:45: Investment Workshop
  • 16:00 – 18:00: Justice Innovation Award Ceremony

Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law
Bezuidenhoutseweg 16A, 2594 AV The Hague
P.O. Box 93033, 2509 AA The Hague

Tel: +31 70 762 0700