Comic Contracts: delivering greater utility and legal understanding through visual means

If contracts are essential to the functioning of modern societies, then why are they so dense, complex, and difficult to read? They are generally written for lawyers, by lawyers, which means they can be hard to understand if you are very literate and accustomed to legal drafting; and can be nearly impossible to read without. Legally vulnerable individuals often cannot fully understand the contracts they’re signing, even though they are written to protect them, and they contain important information about their rights and obligations. Complex contracts can also present challenges for employers with multi-cultural workplaces or companies who want to transact with people who suffer from reading or intellectual disabilities. A lack of understanding of what’s contained within a contract can lead to poor relationships between the parties, resulting in an increased number of disputes as more things are likely to go wrong. READ MORE

I contratti a fumetti. Creative Contracts in Sud Africa.

A feature from an Italian consultancy – Firenze. Read the whole article HERE, but their concluding lines really capture the essence of what we do.

Communicating reduces disputes.
Communicating streamlines the negotiation.
Communicating makes the process efficient.

HiiL’s Better Contract Design Award

HIIL logo

We are HiiL (The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law), an international social enterprise committed to user-friendly justice. Our global mission is to ensure by 2030 that 150 million people can prevent or resolve their most pressing justice problems. To achieve this, we gather data and use evidence-based practices that promote ‘what works’ and help stimulate and scale game-changing justice innovations worldwide.

To close the Justice Gap, we need to do more than improve the current justice system. We need to innovate and spur new services that can prevent or resolve justice problems for everybody. That’s why we run our annual global Justice Accelerator – the only startup programme and innovation ecosystem builder in the world entirely dedicated to increasing access to justice.

In 2018, we welcomed a new game-changing innovation to our programme: Creative Contracts from South Africa. Creative Contracts designs agreements and legal binding documents for everyone to understand. These contracts use illustrations where the parties are represented by characters, the terms are captured in pictures, and the parties sign the comic as their contract.
At HiiL, we always say: practice what you preach. However, as we were supporting an innovation for more user-friendly contracts, we had never given much thought to our own contracts. That’s how we decided to update our Grant Agreement, the contract between us and the startups in our Justice Accelerator programme. And who better to help us create user-friendly contracts than Creative Contracts?
With their help, we re-designed a text-only, complicated contract into an illustrated, easily understandable agreement which was happily welcomed by our cohort of international innovators. The illustrated agreement lays out clear expectations bypassing language barriers.
HiiL is honoured to have received the Better Contract Design Mark from the World Commerce and Contracting association. Today, we still work closely with Creative Contracts’ founder Robert de Rooy as we continue our work towards promoting user-friendly contracts through the Working Groups on Gamechangers sessions. Together, we advance Sustainable Development Goal 16.3 (SDG 16.3) goal: access to justice for all.
To learn more about user-friendly contracts and other game-changing services, visit The
Justice Dashboard:

Infographics: Workers rights and expectations

AgDevCo has released infographics on worker rights and expectations, suitable for any African workplace. They are available free of charge in multiple languages (Swahili, Twi, Chichewa, French, English and Portuguese). Helping our investees build job quality, decent work and gender equality is a key part of AgDevCo’s development impact.  Through our technical assistance facility (TAF) work we offer portfolio companies many resources to support the development and implementation of formalised HR systems and documentation. For examples and to read more, click here.