Jul 20, 2015

HiiL Innovation Justice Challenge East Africa Talk at SLS

SLS students during the talk

Henk Jan Scholten and Wilfried De Wever representatives from The Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law (HiiL), recently reinvigorated Strathmore Law School (SLS) students with their passion for innovation in order to ease access of justice in the world. The justice system is not cast on stone, it is rather dynamic; therefore innovation is encouraged in all aspects so asto improve the conditions.


Through an interactive session, HiiL talked about the importance and impact of providing legal justice to the community through innovative ideas, such as Msheria- a mobile app that sends legal advice through text messages, and Centonomy which helps people manage their resources. They also mentioned how the innovative ideas can help in creating more alternatives to already existing channels of accessing justice such as; a project currently being worked on that will develop an online wildlife protection program so as to curtail wildlife crime in Kenya. With the development and involvement of technology in the justice system, more entrepreneurs create new ways of accessing justice for the common folk. HiiL therefore works at assistingwith scaling up entrepreneurial ideas and businesses to another level. They currently have 230 innovators in their program, and seek to expand these numbers in Africa through the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge in East and West Africa.


The SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge in East and West Africa was realized by the Ford Foundation which found that there was a major problem facing small and medium enterprises despite the evident potential they possess. They include problems relating to their legal rights such as; areas of Intellectual property, how to incorporate businesses, informal cross border trade, harsh regulations, insecurity, high levels of taxation, and corruption. The challenge therefore seeks to relieve these problems in an inventive way and propel development in Africa through the SMEs. 


5% of disputes in Kenya go to the courts for determination, HiiL stated; a fact that creates a demand to innovatively deal with the disputes being settled outside court in an original way. Moreover, with the backlog of cases in Kenyan courts there is a need to innovatively help courts to deal with the backlog through activities such as, preparing digital platforms in which cases can be filled as well as new efficient ways of recording court proceedings. 

Contact Details

Madaraka Estate
Ole Sangale Road, PO Box 59857,
00200 City Square
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 0703-034000, 0703-034200