Two SA legal startups took top honours at The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law’s annual Innovating Justice Forum in December, when they were declared the winner and runner-up of the global Innovating Justice Challenge 2017,
The winner of the Innovating Justice Challenge was announced as South Africa’s Citizen Justice Network – an initiative that expands upon the nexus of journalism and the spreading of legal information. Paul McNally is the brains behind the organisation.
Citizen Justice Network trains community paralegals to be radio journalists, and then pairs these paralegals with community radio stations so that vital social justice content can be produced and spread.
Lady Liberty, founded by Samantha Ngcolomba, also from South Africa, came second in the challenge. Lady Liberty has developed a mobile law clinic which enables qualified attorneys to visit poor and marginalised women in remote areas.
Decided upon by a jury of highly experienced individuals from the private, not-for profit and legal sector, the second runner-up was JustFix NYC.
Tackling housing rights issues and gender issues affecting marginalised women, the innovators displayed the people centered justice initiatives that will disrupt and change justice for the better.
The winners were selected from over 600 applications to the Innovating Justice Challenge 2017 worldwide. As well as earning prize money worth up to EURO 20 000, Citizen Justice Network and Lady Liberty will join 26 other innovations in the HiiL Justice Accelerator programme (HJA), which will offer further support and funding throughout the year.
Applications for the 2018 programme will begin in March.