Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten to open new HiiL offices on February 7th

Minister of Security and Justice Opstelten to open new HiiL offices on February 7th

Judges try to cope with excessive workloads; citizens have to wait too long for a ruling and legal costs go through the roof - only yesterday, the President of the Netherlands Supreme Court put these issues on the agenda. They are felt worldwide however. International advisory and research institute HiiL believes that innovation is the answer. This Thursday (7 February) Dutch Minister Opstelten will open the new HiiL lab at the Bezuidenhoutseweg.

Here, in the administrative and legal heart of The Hague, a new generation of legal procedures will be developed, together with clients from all over the world. This will be done in association with companies from Silicon Valley, making use of the latest IT and based on state-of-the-art scientific insights. These procedures will enable judges and parties to settle conflicts, ranging from commercial disputes to damage claims in a much faster and effective way, making use of negotiation, mediation and intervention by experts and judges.

HiiL already set up a platform for legal innovations (www.innovatingjustice.com ) and regularly maps the global trends in the justice sector. The institute assists countries with the development of innovation strategies and has created tools that measure access to justice and are currently being used in more than 25 countries.

Advice based on research

HiiL was founded in 2005 as a not-for-profit institute with the goal of researching the challenges faced by justice systems as a result of globalisation. By the end of 2012, HiiL had produced 239 publications and held 139 events, all in cooperation with the best international experts. The results were recently summarised in a trend report entitled Rulejungling. Nowadays, rules are made in many different places. Private, informal and international sources of justice are gaining ground over the legislation of parliaments and international treaties. In this respect the entire debate about the powers handed over to Brussels seems quite outdated. Director Sam Muller drew attention to this evolution during the World Economic Forum sessions in Davos last week.

Over the years, it has become apparent that there is a real need among people in the justice sector, in decision-making positions, in NGOs and even in the corporate sector, for advice on how to innovate in the justice sector. This has led HiiL to assume more and more the role of advisor. As a result, it has nurtured the ambition of becoming the 'TNO of the justice sector'; focused on applied research and the evidence-based development of new forms of legal services, together with legislators and the judiciary. A joint venture with a research group from Tilburg University led by Maurits Barendrecht has given this process an extra impetus.