Most people aged 18 to 24 in the UK feel that schools are not teaching how the law works, a poll has found.
It also found that 84 percent of the UK public feels it is very important that ordinary people understand the law.
The findings of the poll – commissioned by the Bar Council, the Law Society of England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) – have been released to coincide with Justice Week 2020.
The three organisations are calling on teachers to deliver legal lessons to as many pupils as possible between now and Friday (28 February), as part of an education drive.
“It is important to educate everyone, including young people, about how the law works and about their rights,” said Law Society president Simon Davis.
“Very often members of the public struggle even to identify a problem as a legal issue, so are not inclined to seek specialist advice.
“To help broaden everyone’s knowledge of the law, we are including a drive for teachers to bring teaching of the law more into schools for our special week.”
As part of the campaign, the organisations have released an EachOther-produced video in which justice has been personified as a crack team of superheroes.
“Law and justice play important roles in the public’s everyday life, from defending democracy, to protecting freedoms and helping to save the planet,” said Amanda Pinto QC, chair of the Bar Council.
“Young people clearly have an appetite for greater knowledge about how the law can help everyone play their part in society.
“We are delighted to help ensure that future generations have a strong understanding of the essential part law and justice plays.”
The Populus survey questioned more than 4,000 people. It asked respondents which rights they considered most important – with freedom of speech and expression coming top at 57 percent.
Freedom of worship, travel freedom, education and healthcare were lower on the list (16 percent and below).
CILEx chair Professor Chris Bones said: “At a time when many people are voicing concerns about how we hold the powerful to account for their actions in a democratic society, it is more important than ever that members of the public understand how the law works to ensure that everyone plays by the rules.”
- See the full list of events being run for Justice Week here.