Legal Needs, Legal Capability and the Role of Public Legal Education

This report analyzes the findings of a nationally representative survey of over 5,000 people in the United Kingdom on legal needs, and makes recommendations about the role of public legal education and information (PLE) in better addressing legal needs. Some of the key findings from the report:

  • half of the UK population will have a civil justice problem every three years
  • the most common legal problems emerge from day to day social and economic interactions such as consumer issues, employment, problems with neighbours and money management problems
  • vulnerable people and people who have precarious employment are more likely to face legal problems
  • legal problems can lead to stress-erlated ill-health, loss of income or confidence, and family breakdown
  • most people in the UK lack effective knowledge of or misunderstand their legal rights

The report also identifies PLE as very important in helping people build legal capability. It recommends a broad-based, client-centred, and creative approach to coming up with PLE strategies that can be integrated into various forms of learning environments.

A summary of the report and recommendations is available here.