World Legal Summit

The promise of technology innovation is that it will deliver fairer, more equitable and cost effective solutions to citizens’ most pressing needs. Yet, as the record breaking fines handed down to the providers of new technologies show, there are enduring tensions between innovators and domestic regulators. Societies are still seeking resolution on existential questions that will define the future intersection between innovation, responsibility and the ownership and governance of data. 

To better understand how some of these tensions are playing out in South Africa, The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) in Southern Africa will be bringing together lawyers, technologists and specialists for The World Legal Summit (WLS) in Cape Town this August. The event takes place at the Moot Room, at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town on 1 August.

“We are honoured to have HiiL join the first year of the World Legal Summit, and believe their team is well equipped to get the right stakeholders from across South Africa to the discussion”, said Aileen Schultz, President, World Legal Summit. “We are incredibly enthusiastic to see the contributions that come out of Cape Town.”

At WLS Cape Town, we’ll be looking at issues around identity and governance in the era of digital citizenship, protection of personal data and cybersecurity, and machine learning and AI from a South African perspective. We’ll be tackling tough questions about what can be done at the regulatory level to ensure new technologies strengthen citizens rights and facilitate fair access to justice, and that they improve business opportunities for all, not just the elite few.

The August WLS summit is the first of a two-part initiative that will be taking place simultaneously in 30 cities and 20 countries. WLS is a first-of-its-kind initiative that brings different parties together to try and understand the implications and opportunities for legal innovation in a connected world.

Our report from the event will help inform the international discussion, which is designed to provide governments, technologists, academics and others working on these areas better global insights, so that they may better learn about to collaborate for further development of their work.

World Legal Summit Cape Town is being hosted as part of HiiL’s programme of events around its annual Innovating Justice Challenge, through which it seeks out and supports entrepreneurs and innovators who are developing new solutions to prevent and resolve citizens’ most pressing justice needs. 

“We’re very excited to be hosting World Legal Summit alongside our partners at the LawTechLab at the University of Cape Town and law firm, Baker McKenzie,” said Themba Mahleka, Southern Africa Agent for HiiL, “It’s vitally important that as we look for new ways to meet justice needs, it’s done in line with regulation and with respect for people’s digital rights.”

Among the panelists and speakers confirmed for the World Legal Summit Cape Town are:

  • Mariya Badeva-Bright – Co-founder, AfricanLII
  • Ashlin Perumall – Senior Associate, Baker McKenzie
  • Adv. Anthea Platt SC – Pitje Chambers and SALRC
  • Neil du Toit – Data Scientist, AfricanLII
  • Darryl Bernstein – Partner, Baker McKenzie
  • Adv. Jackie Nagtegaal – Founder, Future Law Faculty
  • Alison Tilley – Co ordinator, Judges Matter
  • Emile Gerber – Co-founder, JusDraft
  • Gabriella Razzano – Founding Director, OpenUp
  • Nandipha Ganya – Mosaic

Places at World Legal Summit Cape Town are limited, and can be reserved by visiting this link:

More information about the Innovating Justice Challenge 2019, including how to enter, can be found at

For more information, contact Themba Mahleka or Adam Oxford:,

About HiiL

HiiL was set up in 2005. It brought together a small group of people who felt that justice systems were not delivering enough. The world was rapidly changing. Justice systems were not. New words were floating around – globalisation, increased interconnectedness. The advent of the information technology revolution. The million-dollar question remains: How are they impacting justice delivery?

Across the world justice systems are not performing well, in fact they’re direly underperforming: See our Justice Needs and Satisfaction Reports on countries around the world. Adding more money, and more lawyers is not going to solve the problem; innovation is needed – at scale – to achieve affordable, accessible and easy to understand justice.

HiiL’s work in Southern Africa is supported by the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

About the World Legal Summit 

The World Legal Summit (WLS) is an organization that brings jurisdictions together in understanding and exploring the development of legislative frameworks for dealing with emerging technologies and global systems. Its first initiative (#WLS2019) is happening in two parts intended to inform better development of technologies for a globally sustainable future. 


Further Details and Getting Involved:


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