Welcome to Law for Life's first newsletter of 2016.  

In this issue we include items about a new guide on how to apply for parental responsibility, our recent research report analysing the findings of the 2010 and 2012 UK Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey and a blog post on Law for Life's unique pedagogical approach to public legal education.

How to apply for parental responsibility without the help of a lawyer - a new guide

Most, but not all parents have 'parental responsibility' for their children. Do you? Maybe you're not sure what 'parental responsibility' is? Or how to get it, if you haven't already got it? Do you help someone else?

Funded by the Ministry of Justice as part of the Litigant in Person Support Strategy, our new guide on parental responsibility is for anyone who is a parent or step-parent and wants to know more about parental responsibility - what it is and how to get it. It explains how to make a parental responsibility agreement and how to apply for a parental responsibility order. You can find it here.

This guide is also for people supporting litigants in person, for example Personal Support Unit volunteers, CAB volunteers, housing support workers, advice workers and court staff as well as relatives and friends. So please use it, send the link to colleagues and feel free to give us feedback via our on-line survey here

It doesn't explain how to apply for a court order which deals with things like who the child will live with and when they will see their other parent. This kind of order is called a child arrangements order. You can find detailed information about how to apply for a child arrangements order here.

A big thank you to the PSU volunteers supporting litigants in person who gave their time freely and generously to comment on earlier versions of this guide. 

Legal Needs, Legal Capability and the Role of Public Legal Education  - report findings
The following report analyses the findings of the 2010 and 2012 UK Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey alongside some of the underlying policy contexts for public legal education and information (PLEI) developments. The findings reveal on-going significant gaps in legal knowledge and capability amongst the UK population, creating substantial barriers to access to justice and undermining the rule of law.  In addition, we set out our recommendations for Public Legal Education policy and practice in view of the findings. You can read the executive summary here and the whole report here.

How do we teach about the law?
Tara Mulqueen and Tony Thorpe
While organisations and communities around the world have been doing public legal education for decades, there is relatively little available in terms of an articulated pedagogy. Drawing on their experiences developing public legal education programmes, Tara Mulqueen and Tony Thorpe here offer an initial reflection on Law for Life’s methods as a contribution to what may hopefully become a rich discourse on teaching methods in public legal education and a resource for others wishing to teach PLE in their communities. This is the first of what we anticipate will be a series of posts about pedagogy and PLE. We welcome your thoughts, feedback and contributions. 

Are you a PLE practitioner? If you have a teaching method or practices you’d like to share in a blog post, get in touch at:
Civil Courts Structure Review – Lord Justice Briggs

​The consultation period for the civil courts structure review (CCSR) undertaken by LJ Briggs has now closed.

Law for Life has a particular interest in the proposals for an online court, and gave our views on the interim report.

You can read our response to the interim report here.

References and Links

Civil Courts Structure Review – Interim Report

Terms of Reference: Civil Courts Structure Review
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