Public Legal Education
(Author: Richard Grimes, Editorial Board member, International Journal of Public Legal Education) Access to justice is not just about being able to find and afford a lawyer. Being aware of rights (and responsibilities) is an important component of the A2J debate. Legal literacy is vitally important both in terms of recognising problems and knowing what to do and where to go.
(Author: Natalia Rymaszewska, Interim Chief Executive, RightsInfo). Human Rights are vital to protect us against injustice. They make our society fairer and more equal. But the human rights system remains fragile. Understanding of and support for human rights in the UK is low with a 2012 public attitudes survey by YouGov/EDF showing that just 22% people in Britain are pro-human rights - the majority are ambivalent.
The Law Society helps people understand their rights and how the legal system works. Solicitors and education professionals require high quality resources that are accurate, relevant and engaging. In February 2016, the Law Society issued its guidance on public legal education for solicitors’ firms of all sizes, from high street practices to big city firms. It outlined the range of ways in which firms can provide PLE, from leaflets to local campaigns or workshops in schools, in prisons, and in youth or community groups. The guidance also makes the business case for providing public legal education and suggests firms approach the provision of this pro bono service strategically, consulting their community so that they are confident that they are meeting local needs.
PLE resources available for use.
Law for Life has worked with many organisations to provide training for intermediaries, informal advisers, or problem-noticers as to how to help the people they come into contact with deal with common legal problems.
Make Our Rights Reality (MORR) is a national project from Youth Access which teaches young people about their rights and gives them a voice to challenge injustice.