Patricia van Nispen tot Sevenaer

Patricia van Nispen tot Sevenaer set up the Microjustice foundation in 1996, and has developed Microjustice ever since. She has led the organization through its different phases: its start in the former Yugoslavia working on the post-war rehabilitation of refugees, the development of Microjustice as a sustainable way to provide legal services in the international development cooperation, its start in Latin America and further development in Africa, and since 2018 developed the Legal Rights’ Protection Barometer and the digital Legal Aid Platform.

Patricia always wanted to do what she is doing now. This is why after her Masters in Law, she continued her postgraduate studies in International Relations and became inspired to focus on the ‘human aspects’ of international relations. According to her, a precondition for democracy and durable peace is that all people are legally protected and integrated in the system; thus, instead of speaking of abstract concepts such as ‘States’, one has to look beyond this concept: the people living within that State need to be protected. In Microjustice she has found the perfect way to engage in this in a structural way. Prior to creating Microjustice, she worked with a commercial law firm in Amsterdam (Houthoff Buruma; 1990-94) and with the UN in Rwanda, Malawi and Croatia (1994-96).

Patricia van Nispen tot Sevenaer


Founding Director



Skills: Public Relations · Fundraising · Legal Research · Program Development · International Relations · Legal Advice · Legal Writing

Dec 1996 - Present

Human Rights Officer

United Nations

Rwanda, Malawi, Croatia

Oct 1994 - Oct 1997

Attorney at Law

Houthoff Buruma

Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands

Jan 1991 - Aug 1994

Working on legal rights' protection

On Patricia’s way to Bolivia to work with Microjustice team in La Paz in half March 2020, she was stopped from taking my connecting flight in Spain. The Corona restrictions wanted her to be for three months alone in her house on a hill in Málaga to connect all pieces of Patricia’s diaries and to show why and how Microjustice was developed.  That is how she has become a writer and and wrote a book to show the world how was her journey through globalizing world.

Patricia’s book is based on diaries during her work with the UN. She was shocked by what she saw. None in these UN missions knew what to do, desperately looking on how to impose the international human rights’ framework on the particular post-conflict reality. But it jumped to the eyes that what was needed was to help people to enjoy legal rights’ protection.

The focus of Patricia’s book is also to point out that  policy makers are looking on how to implement the policy framework and thus macrojustice, setting up war crime tribunals and organizing activities around human rights related to the freedoms, non-discrimination thus promoting the LGBT community, due process in criminal justice. But Microjustice, that is to say legal rights’ protection of all and specially the restoration of rights of refugees and other war victims is forgotten.


The Johns Hopkins University - Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

International Relations and Affairs


Utrecht University

Master’s degree, Law


Institut catholique de Paris