Dr. Sam Muller
I am both perplexed why change in the justice sector is so tough and deeply convinced that justice systems can offer much more value than they do now. That’s why I founded HiiL in 2005, after having worked at the forefront of developing the Yugoslav Tribunal and later the International Criminal Court. As a UN and later ICC official I saw the flame of the Middle East peace process gradually go out. I saw the effects of wars in the former Yugoslavia, northern Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These situations show when rules designed to protect human dignity don’t work. They’re extreme, I know. But I carry them with me always to keep me focused on what matters: effective rule systems that support human dignity, every day, in daily life. The users of the justice system come first.
Sam Muller is the founding director of HiiL. Its mission is to empower 150 million people to prevent or resolve their most pressing justice problems by 2030. An international lawyer by training, Sam works on justice strategy and innovation at the highest political levels, connecting knowledge about needs and what works with change processes that make a difference. The clients he has worked for include governments, international businesses and leading civil society organisations. Sam also led the setting up of the Justice Leadership Foundation and the Wildlife Justice Commission.
Before his work at HiiL he was closely involved in building the International Criminal Court. He worked as legal adviser at UNRWA and the then newly established ICTY. He holds a law degree and a doctorate from Leiden University and taught there. He has published and spoken extensively on various topics: legal trends and strategy, justice leadership, justice innovation, and international justice issues. Sam has served on many boards. He is currently chair of the supervisory board of World Wildlife Fund – The Netherlands and a member of the International Board of WWF. He was chair of the supervisory board of the Wildlife Justice Commission until September 2021 and is now a board member. He served as Senior Adviser to the Task Force on Justice that published a ground-breaking report in July 2019. In addition, he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Impact Investment Exchange, IIX. He was active within the World Economic Forum on the topics of rule of law and justice, chairing two agenda councils. Sam is an alumnus of the Future Leaders Programme of the French Foreign Ministry and of the High-Performance Leadership Programme of the IMD. He is also a facilitator of leadership retreats for the Foundation for Natural Leadership.
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