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Justice Innovation Labs for sustainable solutions Neighbourhood Peace Facility in the Netherlands

Neighbourhood Peace Facility in the Netherlands

Justice problems in The Hague

In 2020, the city of The Hague and HiiL examined what citizens of The Hague considered to be the most common conflicts that need resolution. Neighbour disputes stood out. They are common and often remain unresolved. For this reason, HiiL in collaboration with the Municipality of The Hague, convened stakeholders to design a solution to resolve the large number of neighbour disputes in the city.

The innovation lab on neighbour disputes in the city of The Hague

In a study conducted by the World Justice Project in 2019,  neighbour disputes ranked in the top 20 types of disputes that occur most often and have the greatest impact on people worldwide [1]. To develop new answers to the neighbour disputes that occur annually in the city of The Hague, 22 experts came together in three innovation lab sessions between February and April 2022, to design sustainable and scalable services. Representatives from Bemiddeling & Mediation, Rechtbank Den Haag (The Hague District Court), Municipality The Hague, IDLO, University of Utrecht and Leiden, the Municipal Ombudsman, CCV, VNG, The Legal Aid Board and Juridisch Loket, participated in the session, providing useful input from their own professional experiences.

The solution

Following a paradigm internationally known as people-centred justice, the participants co-designed the ‘Buurtvredevoorziening’ (Neighbourhood Peace Facility). The Buurtvredevoorziening strengthens and combines existing initiatives such as buurtbemiddeling or mediation and other services provided by the ombudsman into an approach that better enables residents of The Hague to live harmoniously and reach agreement-oriented resolutions. 

At the core of the Buurtvredevoorziening is the justice journey or the steps that citizens involved in the dispute can take to resolve the dispute. To shape this journey from beginning to end, such that it simplifies the process of dispute resolution for people, the Buurtvredevoorziening has incorporated the following core elements:

The Municipality and HiiL are working with the participating organisations in the innovation lab to achieve a broader approach to local innovation in the justice sector. Discussions are being held with various stakeholders about the opportunities for implementation, the start-up investments needed and further alignment within the justice system.

Reflections of participants


1 World Justice Project, (2019). Measuring the justice gap.