With over a decade of experience of supporting justice innovations from all over the world, HiiL has gathered significant insights into the kind of innovations that can become gamechangers in access to justice. A gamechanger is a justice innovation with a strong potential to solve legal problems fairly can deliver effective treatments consistently, is financially sustainable and is scalable as a service. A gamechanger should easily resolve the needs of over 80 percent of the people experiencing a particular justice problem. It makes justice accessible and affordable for people.
By identifying these categories of gamechanging innovations, HiiL wants to promote successful justice services. Focus on gamechangers will help innovators to design innovations that have the potential to deliver effective and sustainable justice services. The discussion will help policymakers to channel funds into viable innovations and formulate regulations in which these gamechangers can thrive. In the below section, we invite you to explore the key characteristics of 7 categories of game-changing innovative justice services.
Services that provide safe, verified and user-friendly contracts (or other legal documents) to the masses, ensuring fairness in families, at work, among neighbours and between small businesses and their partners. These include services that provide easy access to these documents, which is often achieved through online platforms.
Problem-solving practices or courts that bring defendants victims, lawyers, public defenders, community leaders and/or prosecutors together to address the underlying causes of crime. Key features of a problem-solving approach include rehabilitation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and accountability.
Justice services can take shape of a privately run enterprise, or processes governed by the court system. Many other government services are also relevant: ombudsmen, tribunals or other government agencies.
To be user friendly, justice services need to be sustainable as well as scalable in their approach and simple in execution. Successful justice services need to be led by strong team.
In courts, many judges are doing pilots of innovative justice services. Teams of motivated individuals try to improve access to justice through startups. The reality is that many of them do not scale, however. There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from these pilots and startups. These people know what works and what does not.
Key ingredients for a successful justice innovation are:
In collaboration with the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (GIZ), HiiL developed a research under the title “Use of technologies in judicial reform and access to justice cooperation” project. As part of this research, we create an international and comparative overview of justice innovations. We study them from a variety of perspectives. This includes analysis of different digital tools,evaluating them from the lens of business models and governance structures. The map below shows the overview of the innovations studied.
The following charts show the data collected from 150 public and private justice innovations from across 68 countries.
To select these 150 innovations, we reached out to 50 international experts and asked them to share their recommended justice initiatives from their own geographies. In addition to this, we took into account high impact innovations mentioned in reputed online repositories, donor reports, members of legaltech communities as well as from the cohorts of the HiiL Justice Accelerator.
We now shift our attention to innovations in the formal justice sector. In almost every country, new justice services are being developed by courts and governments. The table shows a number of examples. In some cases, organisations champion one or more of these initiatives internationally (see links). HiiL research on this is ongoing and the first results are expected in Q1 2021.
Type of Service
In pilot phase
Implemented at scale
Family courts with holistic approach
Sierra Leone, Kenya, Myanmar, USA, India, Mozambique
Houses of justice
Employment mediation and tribunals
Hongkong, Philippines, USA
South Africa, Australia
Bangladesh, India, Rwanda, Uganda
One stop courts combining information, facilitation and adjudication
UK, Australia, South Africa
No fault compensation fund personal
Since the launch of its Innovating Justice Challenge in 2011, HiiL has come across hundreds of justice innovations from all across the world. Out of them, HiiL has supported 150+ innovations in the Justice Accelerator Programme. This gives an impression of what is happening in the field.
The Justice Accelerator is HiiL’s innovation programme that funds, trains and scales a cohort of justice startups each year.