This is me

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My name is Jin Ho Verdonschot. My first name is from Korea (where I was born) and my last name is from The Netherlands (where I have lived as of age one).

I am the director at HiiL Rechtwijzer Technology in The Hague. I dedicate most of my time working for courts, judiciaries, ministries, legal aid organisations and other justice sector organisations. Constant factor is the objective to make justice work and create user-friendly interfaces of the justice system. The posts on this blog reflect much of that.

I obtained a PhD in law with a study on how we can systematically develop law as sharing rules: practical formulas, grids, tables, etc. that indicate how to concretely share value, costs, and tasks. While working on this study, I developed spin-off IT applications for developing and delivering sharing rules:

  • M-Sheria: this is a legal helpdesk I initiated and developed together with the people from Kituo Cha Sheria and Space Kenya. It combines internet technology with SMS technology so that slum dwellers and other vulnerable groups get access to actionable legal information.
  • http://www.hiil.org/bestpractices: this is a global database with sharing rules for common issues worldwide that serves as tools for rulemakers and justice system designers.

I increasingly got fascinated by how technologies offer opportunities to not just replicate existing justice processes online, but to fundamentally improve them. So during the past years I have primarily worked on designing and developing IT based justice applications like:

  • Online court procedures that go beyond pdf-ication of existing procedures and fully utilise the opportunities of modern IT.
  • Online platforms that offer a problem-solving environment where disputants can have a dialogue and has third party interventions plugged into it.
  • SMS and USSD platforms for disseminating actionable legal information, delivered just in time.

Justice IT applications offer great opportunities in both the developed and the developing world. During the past decade I got involved in access to justice innovations in partnerships in The Netherlands, Azerbaijan, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt, Mali, Canada and the US.

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