Bar Council Annual Report 2016-17

Aim 3 - Public Legal Education

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Public Legal Education

In early 2017, the Bar Council, in partnership with the Citizenship Foundation, developed a series of Key Stage 4 citizenship lesson resources. The lessons explored the role of democratic decision-making in the UK, and the importance of an independent judiciary in our constitution.

The resources were launched shortly after the Supreme Court ruling in the Article 50 litigation, and were produced partly as a response to the reaction to the High Court ruling, after which the three judges in the case were branded ‘Enemies of the People’. The resources were disseminated to all schools in England and Wales.

The Bar Council’s work in this area generated positive feedback from the profession and extensive media coverage.

"These lessons will help students to understand why judges are involved in deciding questions such as who should trigger Article 50. Not everybody will agree with their ruling, but young people should be able to think critically about government and the judiciary, and we want to give them the right tools and information so that they can do it properly.”

- Sam Mercer, Bar Council Head of Equality and Diversity

In addition, the Bar Council’s commitment to promoting public legal education includes:

  • Bar Council representation on the advisory board for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Public Legal Education
  • Support for the Citizenship Foundation’s Bar Mock Trials competition
  • Continued support of the Citizenship Foundation’s PLE quality mark, and
  • Sponsoring of the Institute of Ideas’ UK-wide school debating competition.

Looking ahead

The plan for 2017-18 is to develop further school resources in partnership with the Young Barristers’ Committee and to produce a suite of products available on the Bar Council’s website for barristers to use when speaking in schools.

Please check Aim 5 - Social Mobility for more information about Bar Mock Trials, Bar Placement Week and other initiatives to educate students about the law and a career at the Bar.

Contact and further information

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Luke Robins-Grace
Senior Communications Adviser 
0207 630 4689