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Understanding of the Law

Volume 700: debated on Thursday 16 September 2021

4. What steps the Government are taking to increase public understanding of the law among young people. (903460)

It is vital that children of all ages learn about our famous legal system. My office works very closely with the Department for Education to ensure that the curriculum covers a full range of important legal concepts, including fundamental rights and criminal law. My office also works very closely with members of the pro bono and public legal education committees, who run programmes to engage and educate young people about the law outside the curriculum.

Our legal system is the cornerstone of our society, so does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that we need to work with not just with schools but voluntary organisations to make sure that young people understand not just the law and our legal process, but Parliament’s role in forming the law?

My hon. Friend has put it very well. Understanding the law is vital for young people. To that end, I wholeheartedly support pro bono work as part of education and a way in which students can support their communities to understand the law, their rights and what is required of them. When I was both training for and practising at the self-employed Bar, I undertook pro bono work and also volunteered for the free representation unit. I encourage all practitioners, young and older, to maintain that very proud tradition of the Bar.

In 1975, a 17-year-old young man died while on Army training. He was a recent recruit. The family have never believed the account of his death given by the Ministry of Defence. In 1998, my predecessor wrote to the then Attorney General about the case. Now it appears that new evidence has come forward. Will the Attorney General meet me and some of the family members to discuss this, in their pursuit of the truth?

I send my condolences to the family, and applaud the hon. Lady’s campaigning and work on the issue. I do not know about the case other than what she has just told me, but I am very happy to meet her to discuss it further.