Want to catch the most innovative minds who are using tech to solve issues that African businesses and families face when interacting with the law?Perhaps you’re interested in finding out how you can secure funding for your organisation or startup working in those fields?

Get down to The Awethu Project at Constitution Hill on 22 September for the HiiL Innovating Justice Boostcamp.

Why Innovate Justice?

The opportunity for technology to help citizens across Africa gain access to legal and justice systems is huge.

We know that technology and access to information is changing Southern Africa at a breakneck pace. There are almost three quarters of a billion mobile phone subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa and within a few years the majority of handsets on the continent will be smartphones.

We also know that traditional systems are struggling to keep up. The legal and justice sector is transitioning from a paper-based bureaucracy to a digital one in many countries, but for many citizens and businesses stuck with inefficient and unresponsive systems the benefits of modernisation can’t come quickly enough.

In order to address this, the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) has created the Justice Accelerator programme. The Justice Accelerator is a programme for incubating and funding the best innovations which help promote access to the law and legal systems in developing countries.

Its main mechanism is the Innovating Justice Challenge, an annual process which selects the best entrepreneurs and innovators in the field to go through a process of mentorship and development. As part of the challenge, selected organisations get the opportunity to to raise funds on an exclusive crowdfunding platform and potentially receive a direct investment via an R2.5m fund operated by HiiL on behalf of its partners.

Key focus areas

This year’s competition focussed on two areas, Family Justice and SME empowerment, and has received over 400 entries from around the world.

This year, the final stage in the regional of the HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge takes place on 22 September at The Awethu Project on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, South Africa. Entry to the event is free, and attendees will be able to hear from finalists in the competition as well as speakers and judges on the panel who will provide insight and inspiration on what makes a good justice innovation and where the needs are.

As well as meeting this year’s entrants, attendees will also be able to speak to representatives of HiiL about entry mechanisms and whether or not your startup or innovation is a good fit for next year’s awards.

Want to join us on 22 September? More details and signups can be found on this page.

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.