How can we tell if individuals know their rights?

As reductions in legal aid take effect, the nature of people’s knowledge about the law and how this affects their ability to deal with legal matters is thrown under the spotlight.

New research shows that many people over-estimate what the law entitles them to or misunderstand legislation; in other cases people under-estimate what their entitlements are.

This timely study is a reminder that both empirical and theoretical research is a vital element in understanding the limits and possibilities of educational interventions that address barriers to accessing justice. The multifaceted strategies that everyday encounters with the law demand suggest that effective education and informational interventions need to be carefully adapted.

When it comes to understanding what people know about the law - we have a lot more to learn.
Read more on the research paper - When legal rights are not a reality: do individuals know their rights and how can we tell?

European Networking Project

Demanding Fundamental Rights: Law-Related Education in Adult Learning
We have reached the end of our European work after eighteen months of fruitful exchanges, creative discussion and a shared commitment to finding ways in which we can improve the provision of life-long learning in law-related education. Fundamental rights rely on the capacity of individuals to be able to recognise when their encounters with one-another, their public bodies, and the businesses with which they interact trigger enforceable actions.
Unless the recognition of fundamental rights is matched with the equally important capacity to enforce those rights, their protection is illusory. Perhaps even more saliently, fundamental rights education opens up the opportunity to explore whether fundamental rights as they currently stand meet the needs of those people who seek protection from the law, whether it be women survivors of gender violence, migrants or those campaigning for LGBTI rights.

Law-related education is a part of the dialogue and exchange between people and their governments that redress power-imbalances and evaluate the concrete effectiveness of rights frameworks. Among the approaches we have shared are innovative community based courses to improve access to justice; empowerment of victims of domestic violence; law-related simulations as educational tools; court observer schemes; creative outreach and dissemination strategies for migrants and legal campaigns to expand legal protections to the LGBTI community.

Read about the partners and their success stories:  Demanding_fundamental_rights (1.8MB)

You can read more about the project here: European partnership: law-related education in adult learning

August 2013

Advicenow joins Law for Life

We are pleased to announce that the Advicenow website and staff have become part of Law for Life.  The trustees of the Advice Services Alliance and Law for Life: reached agreement to transfer the project in June.
The trustees and staff of Law for Life welcome the Advicenow project as part of its growing team.  Advicenow has built an unrivalled reputation for the production of high quality information on rights and the law. The expertise of Advicenow staff will significantly strengthen Law for Life.
Law for Life looks forward to extending its education and information work to develop people's legal capability.
The Advice Services Alliance will continue to focus on supporting co-operation in the advice sector and, through ownership of the Advice Quality Standard, to promote the delivery of good quality advice services to the public.

A question of practice

The Advocacy Training Council has produced a video on the questioning of young and/or vulnerable witnesses and defendants. 

It shows how effective video can be – especially at illustrating how not to do something, and then how to do it well.

See:  A question of practice.

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