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Legal youth education – Media legal class

On Tuesday, 2 December 2014, the media legal class attended by the youth of the XXXIII Nicolaus Copernicus Bilingual Secondary School in Warsaw located at ul. Bema 76. The lesson aimed at presenting the activities of the Ministry of Justice for legal youth education to general public.

The meeting with youth was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Poland – H.E. Karsten Klepsvik, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice –Wojciech Węgrzyn, Deputy Director of  the International Cooperation and Human Rights Department, Agnieszka Dąbrowiecka, and Head of Division for Crime Victims and Division for Mediation Promotion.

- ‘The Ministry of Justice has been carrying-out the actions and programmes aiming at increasing the legal awareness among the students from several years. Knowledge on penal or civil law has been provided by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, legal councilors and bailiffs’ said the Undersecretary of State, Wojciech Węgrzyn.

Failure to educate the youth and children on their rights and obligations and therefore high unawareness rate translates into negative consequences both for them and the society.

The youth is often unaware of the legal standards obligatory for each member of the society, which results in simple thinking: I am a child, so the court will do nothing to me.

Young people frequently become the crime victims, e.g. of sexual abuse or cybercrime, since they are unaware of infringement of their interests.

Therefore, one of the key tasks for the Ministry of Justice is legal education of youth.

Under the Project pending, 150 lower secondary and 150 upper secondary schools from the entire Poland has already been chosen, in which since April 2014 the educational meetings have been organized. By the end of October, 182 workshops attended by 5646 students were completed.

The aim of the workshops is providing the students with practical knowledge on the organization and operation of justice and rights and obligations of witnesses and victims.

- ‘We want the workshops to be innovative, therefore we adopted the interactive form and the students play the role of the litigation participants. Our aim is gaining basic information on law by the youth and arouse their interest in law. Legal knowledge makes functioning in the society much easier’– stated Wojciech Węgrzyn.

The meetings are performed with the use of innovative and activating training methods uncommon for standard classes e.g. playing scenes, quizzes, games, etc. Simulation of e.g. litigation is performed, in the course of which the students, based on case study, play different procedural roles: judge, prosecutor, victim, attorney and defendant. Each participant is provided with educational materials package in paper and electronic form.

Additional benefit behind participation of the school in the project is presenting the teachers with new and more entertaining teaching methods on the organization and operation of justice, opportunity of using the educational programme and materials by the schools in the subsequent years and forming in the target group (juveniles) of appropriate and civic attitudes towards law and judicial institutions.

- ‘Poland and Norway have been cooperating for a long period of time. This project is the effect of their cooperation. Smooth functioning of the justice system requires education of the entire society. It is a great challenge both for Poland and for the other states’ – said the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, H.E. Karsten Klepsvik.

Participation of schools in the Project is free-of-charge and requires no administrative burden.

The classes are organized within the ‘School education against legal exclusion’ project under the Operational Programme of the Ministry of Justice Judicial capacity-building and cooperation/Improvement of the efficiency of justice co-financed from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.