Innovating Justice during Covid

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) Southern Africa is looking for game-changing innovative enterprises in the region. Is your organisation developing sustainable, scalable solutions to pressing justice needs? Then you should apply for the HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge 2020 for a chance to be selected for support through the prestigious HiiL Justice Accelerator.

We are looking for promising innovations that are already showing measurableimpact, have the potential to become financially sustainable, and have the plans and ambition to scale across different markets. These enterprises are led by a strong team with experienced and inspiring founders.

“Access to justice underpins every other right and sustainable development goal,” says Themba Mahleka, co-head of the HiiL Justice Accelerator Southern Africa. “This is the fifth year that we’ve run the Innovating Justice Challenge in the region, and we’ve seen the enthusiasm for innovation in the sector grow and grow. This year, as a result of Covid-19, it’s become even more important to identify and support those startups and organisations which are modernising access to justice, and help them to reach more people, more quickly.”

Innovating Justice Challenge

The Innovating Justice Challenge scouts and selects the most promising justice innovations for the Justice Accelerator programme. Applications for the challenge will be open between 10 June and 5 August, via

The Justice Accelerator

HiiL’s Justice Accelerator offers a four month programme that provides 10,000 EUR non-equity, non-debt, funding, business development support (which includes training, coaching and mentorship), access to a global network, international exposure, and connections for  further investment opportunities for startups.

HiiL’s Justice Accelerator is the world’s only accelerator that focuses on preventing and resolving justice problems. We look for startups that can grow and scale to impact thousands and potentially millions of people. HiiL has supported more than 110 justice innovations worldwide since 2011. Some of those have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and scaling to a regional level with the potential to become global players.

“In our experience, justice innovations can come from all sectors of society,” says Mahleka, whose experience in this field spans many years. “Some are aimed at reducing the cost of legal services or access to courts, others are designed to support informal mechanisms of dispute resolution between families, traders, landlords and tenants or more.”

Examples of startups that we have supported in the past include a mobile app that educates  people about their employment rights, a website with automated contracts for SME’s, a mobile application to anonymously report crime, and a website that explains how to purchase and transfer land titles. All were able to grow into successful businesses with the HiiL Justice Accelerator. 

To submit an application, entrepreneurs should visit

The Call for Applications closes at 23:59 Central European Time on 5 August 2020.

Questions: Please contact Themba Mahleka or Adam Oxford via



Or join us for an exclusive webinar on 17 June where we will discuss what makes a good justice innovation and answer questions about the HiiL Justice Accelerator and how it can help you.

We are proud to be supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery to run the Justice Innovation programme In Southern Africa. 

HiiL user-friendly justice

HiiL (The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law) is a social enterprise devoted to user- friendly justice. That means justice that is easy to access, easy to understand, affordable, and effective. We will ensure that by 2030, 150 million people will be able to prevent or resolve their most pressing justice problems. We do this by stimulating innovation and scaling what works best. We are friendly rebels focused on concrete improvements in the lives of people. Data and evidence is central in all that we do. We are based in The Hague, the City of Peace and Justice.

When needed, HiiL has other products and services that provide support to the startups, eg. Justice Research and Development and its Justice Needs and Satisfaction Surveys.


Additional information

How do we select?

We look for innovations that:

  • focus on resolving or preventing a justice problem
  • have the potential to grow and scale nationwide or internationally
  • are already showing demonstrated impact
  • have the potential to become financially sustainable or already have a solid business model in place
  • are led by a committed CEO and a dedicated team.


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