The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) recently held its 2019 Innovating Justice Challenge Regional Finals in Lagos, Nigeria to select the next generation of justice innovators across Africa.
The finals, which held at the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Victoria Island, saw seven justice innovators – Africlaim, Appruve, Bankly, Community Peace Initiative, Lay Better, Sunulex, The Flemer Project Initiative and Vesicash from across various parts of Africa pitch as finalists to a jury of international experts.
AFRICLAIM specialises in securing financial and non-financial compensation for African airline passengers involved in flight disruptions including cancellations, delays, and overbooking, while APPRUVE – the flagship product of a Ghanaian startup, is a financial identity infrastructure that enables financial services to verify and onboard the identities of individuals and businesses.
COMMUNITY PEACE INITIATIVE seeks to promote peace and justice in conflicting communities in Northern Nigeria by engaging their traditional and religious leaders to resolve communal conflicts, while LAY BETTER through its conversational mobile BOT, Liliane provides legal advice in more than 10 areas of law for citizens of Benin Republic.
SUNULEX aims to help Senegalese citizens understand the law; providing them with free short videos explaining their rights and procedures of enforcing them. While, THE FLEMER PROJECT INITIATIVE facilitates the decongestion of Nigerian prisons, through the use of an incentive-based volunteer system enabled by technology, to provide active legal representation for indigent pre-trial detainees. On its part, VESICASH is an escrow platform that prevents disputes and uses its digital dispute resolution mechanism to resolve digital transaction dispute in less than 72hrs.
After a series of groundbreaking and passionate pitches, three (3) innovations – Appruve, Africlaim and Flemer were selected as top three startups, which will gain acceptance into HiiL’s Justice Accelerator Programme. Of these three, Appruve, the flagship product of a Ghanaian startup, emerged the winner of the 2019 Hague Institute of Innovation of Law (HiiL) Innovating Justice Challenge West Africa regional final.
The winners received up to Twenty Thousand Euros (€20,000. 00) in grant funding and potential third party investment, tailored training and business development support, access to HiiL’s international network of experts and global exposure.
In addition to the grant funding of Twenty Thousand Euros (€20,000. 00), that will be shared among the three winners and their participation in HiiL’s Justice Accelerator, Appruve and Africlaim will be attending a one-week intensive Justice Entrepreneurship School and Innovating Justice Forum in Hague, Netherlands.
The West Africa Regional Finals is one of four events taking place across Africa the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to scout the next generation of promising justice innovations preventing or resolving people ́s’ most pressing justice needs.
HiiL is notably raising a global community of justice entrepreneurs who are getting international recognition for making justice systems more user-friendly, as the institute supports innovation that prevent or resolve people ́s pressing justice problems.
The Keynote address at the finals was delivered by Justice Yetunde Adesanya, Chairman of the Small Claims Court Committee, Lagos State, while Jan van Weijen, Consul-General of the Netherlands delivered the welcome address.
Between the pitches, were two panel sessions – a panel on “Justice Reform: Perspectives from the bar” and another on “Impact Investment: A tool to finance justice innovation”.
The panel on justice reform had, Funke Adekoya, SAN – Partner, Aelex, Yemi Candide-Johnson, SAN – Partner, Strachan Partners, Kemi Eweje, FCIArb – Partner Patreli Partners, and Theodora Kio-Lawson – Legal Business Manager, BusinessDay. While discussants on the second panel include, Solape Hammond – Founder Impact Hub, Lagos and Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Sustainable Development Goals and Lagos Global, Dotun Olowoporoku, Associate Investment Director, Novostar Ventures and Nichole Yembra, Managing Partner, Chrysallis Advisors.
During the first panel, it was established that justice was not the sole preserve of lawyers or judges, but rather, it belonged to the people — It was stated that justice was public service and as such, both lawyers and judges must ensure its success as determined by the people who engage with the justice system. The second panel on the other hand, tackled the differences between non-government organisations and social enterprises.
HiiL (The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law) is a social enterprise devoted to user-friendly justice, which means justice that is easy to access, easy to understand, and effective.