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How People Understand and Interact with the Law

This report presents the findings of a nation-wide survey on legal needs conducted in the UK. Initially, the participants were asked questions about their legal rights in relation to four hypothetical scenarios. The report methodology also included interviewing respondents in two waves, by going back to the original respondents two years later to see what impact their legal problem was having on them by then.

Researchers arrived at the following conclusions:

  • a key factor determining whether people identify a problem as “legal” is whether it involves a disagreement – the severity of the problem is not related to whether it is characterized as legal
  • people who use the internet to help them resolve their problems or clarify their rights are least likely to report success in this aim
  • public awareness of even the most prominent sources of advice is low
  • some groups are more vulnerable than others in relation to their ability to solve legal problems and the impact that legal problems have on them

The report stresses the need to develop effective initiatives to educate the public about the law.

View a summary version of the report and conclusions here.

Author: Balmer, Nigel J.; Denvir, Catrina
Title of Work: How People Understand and Interact with the Law
Date: 2015
URL: Click here
Topic: Legal capability or literacy & PLE development and delivery
Location of Authoring Organization by Country: United Kingdom
Location of Authoring Organization by Province/ State (unless national entity):
Availability: Full report online
Language: English