10.27.14 —  NuLawLab's online advocacy simulation initiative will head to The Hague as one of three international finalists for the 2014 Innovating Justice (Innovative Ideas category) Award sponsored by the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law (HiiL).The HiiL Innovating Justice Awards are part of the Innovating Justice Hub — a global network that maps, connects, teaches and strengthens justice innovation. Previous winners have managed to internationalise, improve their product, gain valuable new partnerships and unlock new funding. Participants in the Innovative Idea category are new ventures or novel ideas with a strong potential of delivering concrete justice results.

In the United States, more than 80 percent of litigants appear without lawyers in matters as important as evictions, mortgage foreclosures, child custody and child support proceedings, and debt collection cases. The NuLawLab plans to use gaming technology to provide self-represented parties in Connecticut with foundational advocacy experience before going to court, through a highly collaborative design process that contributes to building a community of support around the needs of self-represented parties. After a sufficient amount of play, usage data will be analysed to evaluate results and better understand self-represented parties’ self-advocacy training needs, with the results applied towards further development and expansion into other jurisdictions.. 

“Our lab and project team hope this international recognition will encourage other creative, multidisciplinary efforts focused on increasing access to justice for underserved communities,” said Dan Jackson ’97, executive director of NuLawLab. 

Nominees in the Innovative Ideas category included 17 projects, representing 12 countries on four continents. The two other finalists come from Liberia and India. The winner will be announced on November 26, 2014, at the fifth annual Innovating Justice Forum, held the Peace Palace in The Hague.

HiiL is a leading advisory and research institute for the justice sector. Its mission is to improve rulemaking and conflict resolution processes.