HiiL Global Legal Hackathon Coming to Johannesburg in February

Updated on 29 January 2018

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Disrupt the law: Global Legal Hackathon coming to Johannesburg in February


The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) has announced that it is bringing the prestigious event for legal and justice innovators, Global Legal Hackathon, to South Africa for the first time this February.

The event will see local innovators compete for a place at a New York showcase of the best lawtech innovations in the world.

The Global Legal Hackathon takes place over three days, from 23-25 February, and teams will develop technology-led solutions to pressing justice problems. Whether it’s improving the business and practice of law with blockchain and AI, or helping with good government, legal systems and access to justice, this is an opportunity for justice entrepreneurs to build on existing ideas, or to create a team around an entirely new concept for justice innovation.

Innovations can range from improvements to contracting and supply chains, to solutions to social justice issues.

The idea for Global Legal Hackathon originated with blockchain for the legal industry pioneers Integra Ledger and IBM Watson Legal, and will take place simultaneously in 42 cities.

The event will be the first of several that HiiL plans to host in the lead up to its 2018 Innovating Justice Challenge (IJC). HiiL has been hosting the IJC and associated Justice Accelerator programme in Southern Africa for the last two years.

Two South African entrepreneurs took top honours in the 2017 IJC, impressing a 300-strong crowd of lawyers, politicians and activists at the Innovating Justice Forum at Peace Palace in The Hague last December. With new initiatives such as Global Legal Hackathon, HiiL Southern Africa plans to help even more startups in the justice sector to achieve success.

“Global Legal Hackathon is a perfect fit for HiiL,” says Themba Mahleka of HiiL Southern Africa, “Because it helps to stimulate innovative thinking around justice problems. We see this as a perfect opportunity not only to take part in a major global event, but to help people prepare their startups for entry to our own Innovating Justice Challenge and Justice Accelerator programme later this year.”

Mentors from the worlds of law and technology will be on hand to assist teams where they can.

HiiL is hosting the Global Legal Hackathon in association with Hogan Lovells. The event will take place at the Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein.

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