Community development and law reform

PLE projects help people understand particular laws and legal systems, with a view to mobilising them to press for change. This can mean challenging a decision through the courts in order to improve the way governments or statutory agencies do things in the future.

The Public Law Project for example aims to improve individuals’ and organisations’ access to judicial review proceedings. Poor decision making or ineffective or discriminatory rules and processes can then be highlighted, and communities encouraged to challenge bad practice.

These projects are a crucial part of a healthy and active democracy that empowers people to actively participate in its legal and political structures.

Man kneeling on floor at conference workshop

Lawyers in Schools

Lawyers in Schools has been designed to support public legal education and, through its interactive and engaging sessions, it aims to raise awareness among young people of the law and its processes.

24 March 2012


Streetlaw is an innovative way of bringing law students under supervision into the community. This legal literacy scheme aims to raise awareness of legal rights and responsibilities and students work in teams to produce interactive workshops and presentations on legal topics. Streetlaw takes place many arenas including schools, womens’ centres, resident’s groups and prisons.

24 April 2011

Poverty and Human Rights Project

The Poverty and Human Rights Project is a pioneering project being carried out by the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR). BIHR are working closely with six community based agencies to build awareness, skills and knowledge of human rights. The aim is to influence policy makers and public bodies and to build up a range of tried and tested tools for others to use. Details from BIHR on adopting a human rights based approach to public services is included.

15 February 2011

Friends of the Earth Rights and Justice Centre

Power Up is an annual training event organised by Friends of the Earth’s Rights and Justice Centre. The event aims to empower disadvantaged communities whose voices are not usually heard in decision-making. It includes facilitated conversation circles and participation in a mock planning committee. FOE lawyers, planning advisers and empowerment campaigners offer technical support, help on community engagement strategies and a free legal advice line.

30 January 2011

Environmental Law Foundation – sustainable communities project

Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) launched the sustainable communities project in 2008. The project aims to raise awareness of how the law can be used by community groups to address local environmental issues such as local planning and environmental concerns. EDF lawyers and technical experts participate in local events and seminars held in the nine English regions.

30 March 2010

ISCRE Stop and Search Project

A Stop and Search project initiated by Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) in 2008 in response to the disproportionately high number of people from Black and minority ethnic communities being stopped and searched in the county. The project illustrates the importance of building up trust and confidence between the parties and a good example of partnership working.

20 March 2010

Public Law Project

Public Law Project publishes information leaflets to assist members of the public, advisers, caseworkers and lawyers in understanding public law and judicial review.

30 January 2010

Meeting community needs – Village CAB

Village CAB is a specialist service for the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities in the North West of England. This project highlights the value of thorough and ongoing community needs assessment. Working with lesbian, gay and bisexual communities, Village combines specialist legal advice with community education and social policy work to meet the specific legal needs of their client group.

Deliberating in a democracy

In 2004, The Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), and the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles (CRF) and Street Law inc., launched a major six year international teaching initiative designed to improve teaching and learning of democratic principles and skills of civic deliberation.

30 January 2009

Citizens Advice social policy campaigns

Citizens Advice (CitA) collects evidence of CAB clients’ problems and uses this to campaign for changes in national and local policies and services. They provide information to clients about the law and their rights as well as encouraging them to contact their MP or councillor and how to approach the media if they have been treated unfairly.

Activists’ Legal Project

The Activists’ Legal Project is a not-for-profit collective which provides information about the law to a wide range of grassroots social change activists, as well as people who are considering taking action for the first time.

15 January 2009

Copyright © Law for Life · Website by Jason King; Terms and Privacy