The Netherlands

HiiL is not only headquartered in the Netherlands, but also active in many areas when it comes to access to justice in the Netherlands.

Key Highlights


stakeholders involved in the Changing Justice Gears stakeholder dialogues (Strafrecht met Perspectief project)


stakeholder dialogues organised for the Strafrecht met Perspectief project


stakeholders involved in the Innovation Lab on neighbour conflicts in the Hague

website published for the Strafrecht met Perspectief project

Together with various partners, HiiL has worked to improve legal procedures for divorce and family conflicts, published documents on the broader topic of the rule of law in the Netherlands and launched projects concerned with the Dutch the criminal justice system.

One of the partners that we have worked with more closely in the past couple of years is the Municipality of the Hague. The city of the Hague has a lot to offer when it comes to peace and justice. In the international context HiiL published a ‘Future of ICC report’ in 2017, using a scenario-method to discuss relevant trends related to international criminal court proceedings. While renowned, the international esteem of The Hague should not overshadow its local needs. With that in mind, the Municipality of The Hague and HiiL explored in 2020 via an E-JNS in 2020 what the most common conflicts for The Hague residents in need of justice are, neighbour conflicts stood out. In continuation of that cooperation, HiiL organised an innovation lab in order to find a solution for the large number of neighbour problems. The lab produced a detailed and ready for implementation plan for the city of the Hague.

Another area in the Netherlands in which HiiL has been active is the criminal justice system Through its research and projects, HiiL envisions a criminal justice system that is more in touch with the human-element, both in terms of responsiveness and design of (alternative) interventions. This is a big challenge, one that sometimes requires a different kind of conversation and new forms of cross-organisational and even cross-sectoral collaboration. The most recent work on the topic of criminal justice consisted of a set of stakeholder dialogues.

What is next?

HiiL continues to work with its partners on people-centred justice programming in the future.

One ambition is a broadscale R&D program that aims to facilitate the development of accessible, effective resolution options for (legal) problems. These new products in the justice sector would enable solving 80% of the justice problems that people experience in a timely and fair manner by 2030.

Projects in Uganda

Changing Justice Gears: Strafrecht met Perspectief

HiiL is currently implementing a multi-year project entitled ‘Strafrecht met Perspectief’ (Criminal Justice with Perspective). The goal of the project is to contribute to a criminal justice system in the Netherlands that is more meaningful and socially relevant. To this end, stakeholder dialogues have been organised with a total of about 30 persons who are stakeholders in establishing and operationalizing an effective criminal justice system. The project is part of the overarching program ‘Changing Justice Gears’.

Justice Needs and Satisfaction in The Hague

In 2019, the municipality of The Hague pledged to prioritise user-friendly justice for its citizens by understanding their justice problems. For example, what problems occur most often among and between residents of The Hague? Are these issues being addressed and if not, why? To answer these questions among others, The Hague Municipality partnered with HiiL to identify ways for improving accountability and responsiveness towards the justice needs and challenges in the international city of peace and justice.

Justice Innovation Lab on neighbour conflicts

In 2020, the Municipality of The Hague and HiiL researched what the most common conflicts for residents in need of peace and justice are. Neighbour conflicts stood out. They occur frequently and are not often or easily resolved. This was the reason for the Municipality of The Hague to ask HiiL to bring stakeholders together to come up with a solution for the large amount of neighbour conflicts in the city.


Contact person

Prof. Dr. Maurits Barendrecht

Programme Director, the Netherlands

Further reading

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