Call for Talent
Before 2017, the HiiL Justice Accelerator focused more on justice startups than on justice innovators in general. Startups are strong teams with the skills to deliver access to justice while building a sustainable venture and creating jobs, and they are an invaluable source of innovation for every country’s business scene. However, startups are not the only ones delivering innovation and working towards making a difference in the justice sector every day.
We at the HiiL Justice Accelerator strongly believe that there is still so much to gain from learning to connect private initiatives with systemic efforts to reform justice. Therefore, we decided to give a selected group of extraordinary individuals some well-deserved recognition in 2017, and launched a Call for Talent for justice innovation. The individual bridge builders listed below all inspire action for carrying justice innovation forward. Their diverse backgrounds allow them to tackle the same problem from different but equally invaluable angles. Our ultimate goal is to have other like-minded individuals reach out to them and join forces in building inclusive and efficient access to justice for all.
Dave has spearheaded multiple innovative housing and legal initiatives for homeless former prisoners in the USA. His goal is to ensure their healthy re-entry into society. Public institutions generally only focus on public safety and prison upkeep, and positive re-entry strategies are often left to communities to develop. Dave and his dedicated team run initiatives ranging from a 35-acre farm operated by former inmates to BAR None, a legal service for prisoners and their families. Dave campaigns for policy change by challenging the disproven criminal justice methodology and advocating for building infrastructure that allows for innovation in housing, treatment and employment for offenders.
Victor is an entrepreneur and legal professional who aims to bridge the gap between law, technology and the rapid pace of tech innovation. For him, access to justice is a critical pillar for poverty-reduction and sustainable development. He works to introduce actors in the legal field to the advantages of new technology. He also launched Sheria-Soft LPM, an award-winning cloud-based law practice management platform to help law firms, legal departments and independent law practitioners integrate their day to day administration into an intuitive, user-friendly and affordable solution. He believes that this is the right way to improve Kenya’s inefficient justice system.
Kanan believes that for legal empowerment to truly happen, laws must be made simple, so that everyone can understand. She has been active in judicial reform in India for the past 8 years and has vast experience with legal tech and innovation. Her recent initiatives in the field of accessible justice include LawToons, a cartoon series illustrating the law and the rights of individuals, and LawForMe, a software solution and mobile app to guide common legal queries. She has recently also become active as a mentor to support the ecosystem of young entrepreneurs in the legal sector.
Deena believes that enforced silence and the lack of political will are the greatest barriers to access to justice. After field research on injustices worldwide with a particular focus on sexual violence in Bangladesh, she is currently Program Manager at WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) in Qatar. She has also worked on the forced migration challenge, with a focus on Greece. Deena’s experience and expertise combines her academic knowledge, fieldwork research and contacts in governments and NGOs, which gives her a unique ability to engage all community stakeholders in developing innovative solutions to justice issues.
Christina is working towards justice for refugee and migrant women and girls. Her motivation derives from her experiences as a teen mother facing the justice system, and also from her time as a limited license attorney during her final year of law school, during which she saw how not enough monetary means bars people from having access to justice. In 2017, she founded She Matters, a registered foundation working towards the socio-economic empowerment of refugee and migrant women and girls.
Erica has worked in the justice arena all her working life. She is now the national Director of ProBono.Org – a South African not-for-profit online platform dedicated to creating access to justice for the disadvantaged. She aims to digitize the platform, which would allow it to be used in other countries with few legal resources and vast unmet legal needs. Erica’s vast experience and broad network of legal academics, professionals, NGOs, students, governments and civil society groups will certainly prove valuable in further innovating and enabling access to justice in Africa.
Yvonne is a software engineer from Kenya. For her, justice is a fundamental concern in all social organizations. As a design thinker, she is motivated by empathy. Her mindset is human-centred, collaborative and experimental, and she believes that all these values are essential for bringing justice forward. As a design thinker, she is able to analyse the existing justice system for innovation opportunities, and to customize access to justice by involving the relevant stakeholders. She hopes to improve lives, one line of code at a time.
Pheona is one of the beating hearts of Uganda’s legal practice. She started her career developing games to educate children and women about their legal rights and responsibilities. Now, she is the Head Legal in a utility that employs over 3000 people. She is also active as Secretary to the Law Society, and in the Uganda Christian Lawyers Fraternity which runs legal aid clinics all over the country. She is involved in lobbying for legal aid law reform and the creation of a legal aid fund. Her dream is to use her influence and lobbying skills to see law societies all over the developing world providing legal aid as a key CSR program in partnership with their governments.
Originally from the Philippines, Bituen is motivated by her first-hand experience of an inaccessible justice system. Now based in The Netherlands, she is committed to using her network and expertise for improving justice. Blending her financial, technological and legal knowledge, Bituen is a highly motivated individual. She is keen on putting her banking background to good use by supporting investment readiness for justice innovations or by helping to set up justice investment funds where needed.
Dmytro believes that where justice is not impartial or fair, democracy and peace are threatened. Working as a legal professional in Ukraine, he has actively pursued avenues leading to the improvement of the justice system around the country. His academic research, his practical experiences as an entrepreneur and his legal professional skills mean that he understands the challenges faced when pursuing an efficient, accessible justice system. He believes that innovative educational technologies can improve national and international justice systems.