SA legal information platforms wins HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge

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Legal information platform Baobob.law has been named winner of the Southern African leg of the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) Innovating Justice Challenge.

The announcement was made at an event at Sandton Convention Centre on September 4, after finalists pitched to a panel of expert judges from the fields of law and innovation.

Winner Baobab.law, founded by Khokela Daula and Guy Stern, seeks to remove barriers to entry for legal assistance by providing information DIY legal solutions in the form of video tutorials that can speed up process of resolving legal matters. Videos are recorded with professional lawyers and available in multiple local languages.

“Our challenge was to find a solution that would bring access to justice to millions,” said Stern. “A solution that is going to impact millions needs to have a few key ingredients: it needs to be 100 per cent free to use, accessible in many languages on social multiple channels and viral in nature. Video checks all of these boxes.”

Second place went to Zimbabwe’s PhoenixCMS, a low-cost case management service, designed to help human rights organisations track important information and improve reporting of rights abuses around the country. South Africa’s Masenze Strategic Advisors, a rights awareness platform working on innovative ways to improve legal education for underserved communities, was third.

“All of our finalists demonstrated incredible new ideas for providing access to justice services in cost effective, sustainable and scalable ways,” said Ellen Tacoma, director of the HiiL Justice Accelerator in The Netherlands, “And their commitment to principles of justice as a human right is truly humbling. They’ve set the bar exceptionally high for our other regional finals in Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dhaka and The Netherlands over the coming month.”

Following the conclusion of the regional finals around the world, HiiL will invite selected startups and innovators to join its Justice Accelerator programme, through which it supports fledgling organisations with seed funding and development assistance.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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