Law officers launch drive to teach public about their rights

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Jul 20, 2017
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Robert Buckland, QC, the solictor-general, said he wanted to give people the confidence and skills to get access to justice

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.

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