Minister Opstelten: “HiiL’s knowledge has led to improved contracting, more effective mechanisms for dispute settlement and more effective legislation”

Minister Opstelten: “HiiL’s knowledge has led to improved contracting, more effective mechanisms for dispute settlement and more effective legislation”

The Netherlands Minister for Security and Justice Opstelten said this in his speech rendered at the occasion of the official opening of HiiL’s new premises. On Thursday February 7th, HiiL festively opened the world’s first justice innovation lab as well as its new office at the Bezuidenhoutseweg in the administrative and legal heart of The Hague, city of peace and justice.

The reception was attended by luminaries from the international and Dutch legal community, such as President Song of the ICC, HccH SG Hans van Loon and Dutch politicians Prof. Michiel Scheltema and Mariko Peters to name but a few.

HiiL Director Sam Muller kicked off the evening by describing in his speech how form has followed substance over the years; from HiiL’s humble beginnings in three small offices on a top floor eight years ago, to the new office-cum-innovation lab close to the movers and shakers of the Dutch governmental community. He also explained very clearly how the shape of HiiL’s new office reflects its core values.

Open-plan, the building has no inner walls - no separate office spaces and is accessible to all looking for advice; close to all forms of public transportation, to the major courts and government departments. - efficient; making use of the latest technology, no set protocol and last but not least innovative. Where else can you find a lab set up especially to test and try out new procedures and ideas for dispute settlement or legislation?

Minister Opstelten then mentioned how HiiL’s activities and studies since its beginning in 2005 have proved extremely useful for public authorities, organisations, businesses and the public at large. He added that HiiL’s knowledge of how national law functions in an internationalised world has led to better contracting, more effective mechanisms for dispute settlement, more effective legislation and – more generally – a better understanding of the role of law in today’s open world.

The minister finished by mentioning that HiiL and the Ministry of Security and Justice share a key ambition; wanting to achieve tangible results that make a difference in practice. In other words; to make justice work.

HiiL’s Academic Director, Professor Maurits Barendrecht, spoke of HiiL’s core business of innovating justice, mentioning projects that HiiL has worked on with clients, inspiring examples from around the world and finally one of HiiL’s side projects; “Innovating Justice, the book”.

The book, which will be available soon, is a hands-on guide on how to get started when you want to innovate in the justice sector and is based on years of research of best practices and on the latest academic insights.

After the official part, guests were able to mingle, grab a bite, enjoy a drink and take a tour around the new premises. We hope that the evening inspired some people to look at the good old justice sector from a fresh perspective.