Welcome to Simone: Our New 2019 Summer Intern

With a strong interest in conflict resolution and peace-building, Simone Hanrath (BA Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology 2015-2018; MA Cultural Diplomacy 2019-2020) is a driven intern at the Crowd Versus. Having organised various intercultural activities, and participated within the Shelter City project as a personal assistant to displaced Human Rights defenders, Human- and Land Rights have become Simone’s primary focus. Supporting cases of displacement,  suppressed individual liberty and environmental injustice, Simone has been organising dinners, conferences and concerts.

Her outspoken aim is to strengthen intercultural ties in order to invite various groups to leave their comfort zones and meet one another in visions and views that stretch beyond personal points of reference.

At the Crowd Versus Simone is involved with the setting up of gatherings and joint initiatives between individual actors and institutions. She will help to organise the annual meeting of the Board of Advisors fall of 2019, work in connection with the University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht, and initiate other connecting activities and activation strategies under Asceline Groot and Jone van Rees.

Simone’s strengths rely on her hands-on mentality in acknowledging potential, her bi-lingual and bi-cultural (Czech-Dutch) background, and her process-oriented approach where the realisation of projects is concerned.  Rather than focusing on being on the other side of the canal, Simone aims at finding ways to learn how to swim or to build bridges. She takes the time to involve all members of an initiative into a process of decision-making and acknowledges the necessity to reach, and continuously re-confirm, consensus in order to be productive. She is greatly in favour of the horizontal set-up of The Crowd Versus:

“I feel like The Crowd Versus is a unique initiative, in the sense that it constitutes a community as much as a philanthropic platform. It amplifies the involvement of people. By being transparent, informative, and open to alternative ways of support, such as blogging, it gets rid of the New Year’s gift giving image, where you give money to pacify your conscience and then lose sight of the cause and gift altogether. The Crowd Versus opens up a space which allows me to get  connected and see that change doesn’t have to be a far-away thing.”

Simone is not afraid to become involved within new initiatives and be part of a movement which stands in for international human rights. She finds the team of The Crowd Versus to be harbouring a  sincere and cordial approach towards reaching its goals.

Polly Higgins: In Memoriam

3 May 2019

My dearest Polly,

At the exact time that I start writing this, your funeral starts in the UK. It’s a sad day. We are so sad to see you go. 

Yet, thousands of people are so thankful. Thankful that you stood up, dared to be brave, for our planet Earth and our common future.

We were struck by the terrible news of you being ill. Thousands of us stood with you, in thoughts, prayers, etc. and carried you through your final days.

You are one of the heroes of our times, showing leadership on what needs to be done. 
Ending the decades of ignorance and indifference on the wellbeing of our planet. Ensuring ethics and law play the role they need to play in our society. Standing up for our common mother: Earth.

Mutual Event hosted by Polly Higgins and Jan van de Venis at Springtij.nl, April 2015

Getting ecocide acknowledged in (international criminal) law, which many may have seen as fighting an uphill battle or swimming against the stream. However, you brought us closer to the summit and to the source of the stream.

We are beginning to see clearly, from where things come.

I will miss you as a friend, as a colleague and as a fellow lawyer. I will, as you often called all of us to, continue to ‘dare to be brave’.

Polly, you passed away, but your heritage is amazing. You have inspired tens to hundreds of thousands of people, started a global movement which is speeding up. I feel it is in your honor that the UK Parliament became the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

Next step, ecocide law.

It has been an honor to ride the wave of justice with you on Earth. I hope you are now riding amazing waves in a just place without pain and worries and in a pristine natural environment.

The wave you started on Earth is growing: a tidal wave is starting to arise. As Seamus Heaney said:

“History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme”

My dearest Polly, with you hope and history rhyme. Rest in peace. We will continue. We dare to be brave.

Jan van de Venis

President, The Crowd Versus

Meet our team: Jan Willem Nieuwenhuys – Treasurer of the Executive Board

28 February 2019

The team members of the Crowd Versus work and volunteer their time behind the scenes. We are a diverse group of people, but we share a clear mission: to hold irresponsible companies accountable for their actions on the legal playing field.

The Treasurer

Today we would like you to meet Jan Willem Nieuwenhuys. Jan Willem is our Treasurer and we are happy to have him on the Executive Board. Jan Willem spent his working life to improve the sustainability of the financial sector. He was one of the first bankers to start with impact-investing for his clients, while creating social and financial value.

Sustainability comes naturally

“Sustainability comes naturally to me,” Jan Willem says. “When my first child was born, I asked myself, is this the world I want her to grow up in? No, of course not. I learned the profession of asset manager in a traditional way and I didn’t want to proceed in that same way. Which is why, in 1990, I established Nieuwenhuys, Brink, Crommelin Duurzaam Vermogensbeheer. Sustainable investment is now so successful that there is actually no reason not to invest in this way.”

Fair Capital Partners

At this moment Jan Willem Nieuwenhuys is Chair of the Board of Directors at Fair Capital Partners asset management, part of the Board of The Crowd Versus, and he volunteers for many other organizations. We provide you with a selection of his activities and accomplishments.

Founder of Fair Capital Partners Asset Management (since 2018)
Commissioner Houdstermaatschappij Zuid-Holland (since 2017)
Member of the Board Bergplaats (since 2017)
President of the Board Partos (since 2016)
Member of the Board Hinderrust Foundation (since 2014)
Member of the Board KNHM (2012) and Commissaris KNHM Participations (since 2016)
Director ASN Bank Asset Management (2010 – 2018)
Commissioner Doen Participations (2003 – 2006)
President of the Board Social Venture Network Netherlands (2001 – 2006)
Member of the Board, Human Rights Watch (since 1995)
Director Niewenhuys, Brink, Crommelin (NBI Vermogensplanning) (1990 – 2010)

Meet our team: Jone van Rees, one of the driving forces behind the platform

Posted on January 18, 2019

Who works and volunteers their time behind the scenes at The Crowd Versus? All different kinds of people do. 

We have held jobs in the business and legal industries. We apply that knowledge to help create this online platform to support important cases worldwide achieve justice.

Sometimes that justice has been years due, sometimes more than twenty.

Belief in Justice for All

Jone van Rees enjoys an extensive background as a legal assistant, spanning over 14 years in various areas of jurisprudence. Her degree from Georgia State University in English rhetoric and ability to speak several languages is another one of her strengths. In 2015 she started her own business in copy edit and works as a coach with aspiring authors.

She is a creative individual who likes to play with words and images in languages.

“The judicial system can effect important changes in society, in a peaceful manner, to reflect the values and norms that ensure justice for all.”

According to Jone: “The belief in justice being achieved via the legal system represents part of my personal motivation to work and volunteer in human environmental justice. I love the law and all what it entails, how it touches all aspects of our lives. The best part of being in this position is that I also get to meet and help change the world with amazing people, like Kirsten Youens, Pablo Fajardo Mendoza, Susan Smitten, René Sanchéz Galindo, and other incredible activists and community leaders.

These are all outstanding attorneys and dedicated people who work long hours for little or no pay. And now I help run the backend of The Crowd Versus’s website to make this world a better place for those who come after us, the new generations.”


  • Coordinate campaigns for The Crowd Versus, social media channels in different languages, website back-end
  • Editor and coach for authors, founder of scriptumbene.com
  • Volunteer Greenpeace PNW social media
  • International Board member of scivias-institut.de
  • Guide and administrative work at the Nederlands Tegelmuseum
  • Legal assistant for various law firms in corporate, defense and plaintiff litigation in Atlanta, GA
  • Secretary for business firms, also on a multi-national level

Hiring: Country Lead Coordinators

Posted on December 22, 2018

We are looking for self-employed professionals active in the social enterprise industry and/or online activists, aspiring to have a bigger impact through social media coordination, on a part-time basis. 

Do you live in The Netherlands, South Africa, the United States, Mexico, or Canada?

We are looking for you.

The Crowd Versus (TCV) is the crowdfunding platform for legal actions against irresponsible companies and governments worldwide.

We are seeking independent and result-oriented individuals to coordinate the communications in the countries where some our cases are pending (Canada, South Africa, among others), aimed at raising awareness and donations for cases.

We have partnered with CIVICUS Alliance and Hivos and wish to enlarge our network with highly motivated and organized persons who care about all people and the environment.


  • Translation of planned content for & help plan activation of TCV cases
  • Edit raw content into attractive social media posts, newsletters, blogs, press releases, and case updates
  • Manage online local TCV social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Monitor results (Google Analytics, A/B testing if necessary) and report on plan versus actual


  • Outstanding time-management and planning skills
  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills in the native country
  • Experience with online channels
  • Native language of the country involved and English, at a minimum
  • Self-starter

Additional Information

  • This is a part-time and work-at-home position, remunerated by a percentage of donations raised via your communications on social media channels
  • Our Foundation is based in The Hague in The Netherlands, but we collaborate with a global team and with global partners by using online collaboration tools like Skype, Google Docs, Zoom, Dropbox, etc.

Interested? Send your application with resume to support@thecrowdversus.org

Meet Our Team: Jan van de Venis, President of the Executive Board

Posted on December 11, 2018

Jan van de Venis

Every day, the team of The Crowd Versus works on creating awareness for human environmental rights all over the world. We have different roles, backgrounds, and day jobs. We share a clear mission: to hold irresponsible companies accountable for their actions on the legal playing field.

Today we would like you to meet Jan van de Venis, President of our Executive Board.

Human Rights Lawyer

Jan van de Venis is a human rights lawyer and founder of law firm JustLaw. He specializes in human rights and environmental and sustainable development issues. He focuses on Human Rights Consultancy, Training of legal professionals, Expert contributions to law suits and the Rights of Future Generations.

In all his activities, Jan tries to make law work for a more just, sustainable, inclusive and peaceful world and a healthy planet for present and future generations. A perfect match with The Crowd Versus.

Board member, Public speaker, and networker

Jan works for governments and institutions, politicians, NGOs (for example, Greenpeace and Amnesty International), UN bodies, businesses, academic institutions, and agencies (for example, OHCHR and UNESCO). Next to his work as a solicitor, he has many board memberships. Additionally, Jan is a public speaker, publisher, and joins a wide variety of expert groups, initiatives, networks, and outreach programs.

His personal motto is: “We may not always be able to control things that cross our paths, but we are in control of the way we respond.”

We give you a selection of his accomplishments.

These Lawyers Stand Up for Your Rights

Posted on December 9, 2018

Lawyers work to protect human and environmental rights all over the world. On December 10 we would like to honor their work and thank four of them. 

On December 10, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since that date, we celebrate Human Rights Day every year.

This year marks the milestone 70th anniversary of this declaration.

Rights for Every Human Being

The document proclaims the rights to which every human being is entitled. No matter the race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

The recognition of equal rights for all is a precondition for sustainable societies. Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace. Unfortunately, these rights are constantly challenged.

Standing up for our rights, or supporting others in their battles, remains essential; whoever and wherever you are.

On this special 10 December day, we present to you four extraordinary lawyers who stand up for the rights of others. They do this with long hours in cases that can change the historical legal doctrines of corporate interests and governmental policies.

1. Karey Brooks

In Canada, JFK Lawyer Karey Brooks battles in court to stop tarsands mining, to protect the world’s most important carbon sinks, and to hold the Alberta province and Canada accountable for breaking their constitutional promise to the Beaver Lake Cree First Nation.

#TarSandsTrial #cdnpoli

2. Kirsten Youens

Kirsten Youens

In South Africa, Kirsten Youens fights in court to stop the coal mining activities of the South African government that puts Zululand and its people in danger and also threatens the world’s greatest concentration of rhinos in the wilderness area of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.

#SaveOurWilderness #StopTendele #LawApplies2All

3. Pablo Fajardo Mendoza

Pablo Fajardo

In Ecuador, Pablo Fajardo Mendoza supports the Amazon people in a landmark case to legally force Chevron to create health programs for the 6 indigenous nations and repair their lands, after one of the worst environmental disasters of all times. Pablo received the 2015 Goldman prize in recognition of his long and arduous work and we are honored to help his team.

#StopChevronImpunity #StopCorporateImpunity #ChevronCleanUp

4. René Sánchez Galindo

Rene Sanchez Galindo

In Mexico, Lawyer René Sánchez Galindo fights to stop Monsanto and other multinationals from growing genetically modified or GM corn that will force all farmers to grow GM corn, will harm biodiversity, and ultimately puts Mexican cultural heritage and way of life at risk.

#MxvsGMO #MXSinOGM #KeepMaizeAuthentic


Newsletter December 2016

Dear Reader,

Following a busy time preparing for the successful launch of the new name and website, we were inundated with positive reactions. Thank you all! Donations have steadily crept up too, and the amount of social media followers has increased considerably. Please help to us to increase these numbers and Like, Follow and Share us on Facebook and Twitter!

How we want to communicate going forward
As well as changing our name and website, we decided to change the way we operate and communicate:

  • Case news: as soon as there are any case updates this will from now on appear on the case page under “legal updates.”
  • Social media: we will focus more on news specific to the case rather than general updates. We will start with Facebook and Twitter, with Instagram to follow at a later stage.
  • Newsletters: we aim to communicate with you at least 4 times/year (depending on content) through newsletters like this one.

Who wants to help grow The Crowd Versus?
We would like to ask your support not only by donating (if you can) but also by Sharing, Liking and Retweeting on social media. It would be a great help if you could actively (or automatically) share any news and invite your friends to Like us on Facebook.
More specifically we are looking for help with the following:

  • Translators (French, German, Spanish, Dutch). We are not looking for professionals but anyone who is a near-native speaker of these languages and who is prepared to help occasionally with translating some news updates would be very welcome. The texts will be no more than a few sentences at the time and we would like to have several people available per language to ensure continuity. For example: see most of the legal updates that are currently only in English!
  • Communication volunteers: people from the Crowd who are willing to help creating content, supplying legal updates on our website and writing for newsletters.
  • Case followers: people from the Crowd who commit to following a specific case and keep us posted with relevant news updates. That way we will always have the latest information available.Currently we are looking for people that can follow our Bee case, our Chevron case and our Tarsands Mining case.
  • Voice actors: one or two people who can assist in doing voice-overs for future case videos. To get an idea of what we are looking for, check out the films on our case pages.
Your help in any of the above will be greatly appreciated. Send us a mail on info@thecrowdversus.org

Looking ahead
At the moment we are upgrading our website with help from professional agencies that support our cause. New will be a section where people from The Crowd Versus can initiate their own cases and a section that shows the case specific news on the casepage itself.

Case updates
The Crowd Vs. Bee-harming Pesticides
We started supporting this case to protect the bees against Bayer and Syngenta from the end of October. The goal is € 8750 and so far we have raised over 15%. We need another € 6000… With this money we can make sure that the European ban on bee-harming pesticides stays intact. Read more here.

The Crowd Vs. GMO Corn in Mexico
The latest news dates from June. We are waiting for a final session of the court when judgment will be reached based on the merits of the case. The good news is that no permits will be granted for experimental or scientific research on GMO corn crops until a final ruling on this issue is reached by the Mexican courts. Read more here.

The Crowd Vs. Chevron Oil Spill
The Supreme Court decision in Canada allowed the victims to proceed with the enforcement in that country. We now wait for the outcome of the courtcase. Read more here.

The Crowd Vs. Ibutho Coal
Ibutho Coal’s mining license application (which is valid for only one year) has expired. Nothing was heard from the applicants, the DMR or the applicant’s consultants since June. The Fuleni people therefore are currently playing a waiting game. Read more here.
For more information about the Fuleni people, here you can view pictures of their cultural day in Ocilwane Village

The Crowd Vs. Tarsands Mining
We support our lead nonprofit organisation RAVEN to shoot a video that will be used by the legal team to assist the court in visually understanding how Beaver Lake Cree way of life is affected by development. It will ensure that elderly community members can have their stories documented for later use in court and it will also be used by the community generally for education and raising awareness. Read more here.

Thank you for supporting The Crowd Versus movement. We’ll get back to you with more updates in our next newsletter. Meanwhile we look forward to seeing you at  www.thecrowdversus.org, Facebook or Twitter!

Team The Crowd Versus

Persbericht 27 september 2016


Den Haag, Nederland, 27 september 2016

Met trots presenteren wij het nieuwe crowdfundingplatform voor gerechtigheid: The Crowd Versus.
The Crowd Versus is het crowdfundingplatform voor juridische actie tegen multinationals – en soms ook overheden – die winst maken ten koste van mens en natuur. Door geld in te zamelen voor gerichte juridische stappen, kunnen we de disproportionele macht van multinationals een halt toe roepen.

Tegelijk helpt het platform NGO’s / stichtingen bij het financiering van hun rechtszaken (en andere juridische acties). Deze rechtszaken worden aangespannen namens mensen of ecosystemen die ze door hun dagelijkse werkzaamheden door en door kennen.

Omdat soms juridische actie de enige weg is, is dit gloednieuwe platform, dat voorheen “Grrrowd” heette, opgezet door een gevarieerde mix van mensen, met achtergronden in de advocatuur, lobby, business, communicatie en strategie. De ervaringen opgedaan tijdens de “Grrrowd” periode hebben geleid tot dit nieuwe crowdfundingplatform.

Een juridisch gevecht wordt zowel binnen – als buiten de rechtbank gewonnen. The Crowd Versus besteedt aandacht aan beide. Het helpt de kosten te financieren ‘in’ de rechtbank (bijvoorbeeld rechtbank fee’s, onderzoek en – sociale – advocaten) en ondersteunt het deel van de rechtszaak dat zich ‘buiten” de rechtbank afspeelt waaronder (social) media en het beïnvloeden van de publieke opinie en de juridische beleidsmakers.

Neem svp een kijkje op dit nieuwe platform: www.thecrowdversus.org en kom erachter welke cases momenteel gecrowdfund worden:

The Crowd Versus Bee-killing pesticides
The Crowd Versus Chevron oil spill
The Crowd Versus GMO corn Mexico
The Crowd Versus Tarsands mining
The Crowd Versus Ibutho coal

Voor vragen, een interview of meer achtergrondinformatie kunt u contact opnemen met:
Communications Lead Sander Koolwijk: 0031702210362 (office) / Sander@thecrowdversus.org
Voorzitter (en milieu en human rights lawyer) Jan van de Venis: Jan@thecrowdversus.org

Op de hoogte gehouden worden van The Crowd Versus? Stuur ons dan een email.

Een mooie dag gewenst!

Team The Crowd Versus

Jan van Nassaustraat 102
2596 BW The Hague
The Netherlands
Chamber of Commerce 60200669
Bank NL33TRIO0784723915
VAT number NL853806354B01