Public legal education:
Improving lives, empowering communities
Welcome to issue no.6 of the Public Legal Education Network newsletter.
Potential for public legal education in adult learning
Important new research published by Plenet this month provides valuable insights into the world of adult learning. Participants were enthusiastic, seeing PLE as an important element in a 'general' understanding of social life and having the potential to help people avoid problems. They added that there were also opportunities for 'just in time' learning where someone has already encountered difficulties.
We elect our MPs to create laws for us which are then administered through Government offices, the judiciary, the police and other agencies. The strength of our democracy can only be reinforced if our citizens have an understanding of these processes and how they come to affect their lives.' Alan Tuckett. Director of NIACE
The research was carried out by Howard Gannaway and Lorraine Casey at NIACE - the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Find out more about the research into the potential for PLE in adult learning
Empowering young people through legal capability
Plenet joined the Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) on 16th October to launch new research into young peoples' legal capabilities. The conference was opened by Lord Bach, Secretary of State for Justice.
One of the key messages was that PLE should be focused around civil law. Speakers said that basic levels of legal capability are needed by all young people, but are especially vital to improving the lives of the marginalised - PLE is the missing link for young people to effectively access other legal help. Imaginative ideas about how to improve young peoples' legal capabilities were exchanged. A useful summary has been published by Plenet:
Ideas Exchange (70 KB).
More about the Empowering young people through legal capability conference and a copy of the research Measuring young people's legal capabilities.
Update on PLE in Scotland
Following on from the conference on PLE in Scotland earlier this year, three articles by Gemma Crompton have been published in SCOLAG Legal Journal. The latest published in August considers some of the challenges. Support for PLE was given a boost in Chapter 11 of the Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review (174 KB). The report recommended that the 'promotion of public legal education should be an element of any strategy to improve access to justice in Scotland'.
More about the Scottish Civil Courts review and a link to the articles in SCOLAG Legal Journal. See update on PLE in Scotland for more information.
Self help housing project
This summer a new website and national initiative www.self-help-housing.org was launched. It's a valuable resource providing people with the opportunity to learn practical 'on the job' building skills and also how to run an organisation, how to secure funding and how to negotiate with owners, local government officials and other agencies. This is the new Self help housing website and there is more about the self help housing project here.
60 Second Interview
George Arkless, chair of an inner London residents' tenant management organisation trains volunteers to serve on the TMO board.
One of George's top tips for PLE:
'Never forget people are individuals. If you have the individual at the centre of what you are doing or the decision making process then sustainable goals will be achieved'.
For your diaries...
Make a date to join us on 10th February 2010 when Plenet will be holding its next conference. The venue will be in London.
More information will be in our next newsletter. Sign up here Join our Network to receive the latest news.
Care Leavers (41 KB) is one of a wide range of NIACE leaflets.
More can be found at NIACE publications
A Quick Link
Research and Theory This section is now divided into 'Key' and 'Further' reading and 'Evaluation'.