Law officers launch drive to teach public about their rights
Senior government lawyers will campaign to increase public awareness of the law and civil rights with a scheme launched yesterday by the solicitor-general.
Robert Buckland, QC, chaired the first meeting of the public legal education panel, a collection of organisations that aim to promote the importance of teaching the public about the law and their basic civil and criminal rights. In a statement, the panel said it wanted to cover issues such as “knowing if you’re entitled to a refund in a shop or whether you’ve been a victim of discrimination”.
Speaking ahead of the panel’s first meeting, Buckland said: “Teaching people about their legal rights and responsibilities, together with helping them gain the confidence and skills to get access to justice can really make a difference to people’s lives – as well as our legal system.” He said the initiative would “help drive forward public legal education so more people can reap the benefits”.
According to a statement, the panel will provide a forum for Buckland and Jeremy Wright, QC, the attorney-general, “to work with organisations in the field, enable public legal education to flourish and to encourage initiatives which improve legal capability”. The group – which will meet twice a year – includes representatives from the Law Society, Bar Council, Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Magistrates’ Association, Ministry of Justice, Judicial Office, Solicitors Regulation Authority and Citizens Advice.