Epoq Legal SA has launched a real-time, online legal document drafting tool called JusDraft, designed for South African non-profit organisations who need to create court forms, contracts, wills and more without the need for an attorney.
According to the Statistics South Africa there are 120,227 registered NPOs in South Africa. 94.7% of these serve the communities in which they are based, and 40.8% of these are classified as social services. These organisations operate in a demanding world where delays and costs involved in traditional document drafting can have a serious impact on the well-being of end users. JusDraft was created to help deliver vital services, completely free of charge.
The JusDraft platform is designed to be quick and easy for non-legal professionals to use and is packaged with an accompanying law guide written in plain English, a selection of legal infographics, a range of self-help video tutorials, and a 24/7/365 telephone legal advice helpline. All NPOs have to do to start drafting almost immediately is sign up at www.jusdraft.co.za
Emile Gerber, chief operating officer of Epoq Legal SA says, “South Africa is home to around 57.7 million people, many of whom can’t afford or don’t have access to legal services, and vulnerable people in particular are reliant on non-profit organisations who in turn partner with law firms and other institutions in order to make advice or legal services available. In the world we live in today, with the population expanding and the poverty gap widening, innovation in the legal tech space is key to reaching a broader percentage of the population.”
In collaboration with various organisations, JusDraft offers document drafting and ancillary services in the areas of family law, criminal law, debt and employment/ labour matters. The service will expand to include aspects of property, motoring and more; and will become available to other organisations looking for an in-house legal document drafting platform.
HiiL’s Justice Accelerator programme
JusDraft was initially developed in response to The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) Innovating Justice Challenge in early 2018. Through the challenge, Epoq Legal (SA) was invited to take part in HiiL’s Justice Accelerator programme. Initially aimed at end users, through this programme Epoq Legal identified the need for a platform that enables non-profit organisations to create legal documents in an efficient and affordable manner, and JusDraft was born.
Ellen Tacoma, director of the Justice Accelerator programme at HiiL says, “HiiL strongly believes that innovation is needed in the justice domain to prevent or resolve pressing justice problems for citizens around the globe. JusDraft is a great example in contributing to that challenge. The solution is ready to support thousands of citizens in getting their legal documents.”
JusDraft brings together a range of supporters who have helped shape the platform ahead of its initial launch. Lipco Law For All are providing the legal advice helpline and a range of infographics; DebtBusters are on board to offer debt management services; and Baobab.law are providing a range of self-help video tutorials for users.
Gerber concludes, “We’re really excited about making a positive impact in South Africa with the JusDraft venture and, of course, we continuously strive to live up to our tagline 'making law easy' by providing uncomplicated, real-time document automation technology.”