NORTH East Hampshire MP, Ranil Jayawardena led a debate in the House of Commons to raise more awareness allowing people access to justice.

The debate, held on Tuesday, 15 May, centred around Public Legal Education (PLE), which provides people of all ages with awareness, knowledge and understanding of legal issues.

It also helps build the confidence and skills they need to deal with disputes and gain access to justice.

Too many people end up in court with legal problems that could have been avoided if only they knew a little more.

The solicitor general, Robert Buckland QC MP, responded to issues raised in the 90 minute debate on behalf of the Attorney General’s Office and HM Government.

The Solicitor General is spearheading important work to co-ordinate and focus PLE so that it reaches as many communities as possible also.

Mr Jayawardena said: “I was very pleased to have been granted the opportunity to discuss the excellent public legal education (PLE) already going on in our country.

“But I believe that it is more important than ever to equip as many people as possible with knowledge about their legal responsibilities—as well as their rights—under our great British legal system.”

Organisations like the Citizenship Foundation are working in hundreds of schools and colleges to help deliver what I believe is a useful part of citizenship education. PLE isn’t only about schools—it can be and is being delivered in all sorts of community settings to interested groups by members of the legal profession.

The MP added: “As a Conservative, I believe in people—the duty and the desire and the ability of people to look after themselves, their families and one another.

“PLE helps people build their confidence to do that—and gain the skills that they need in order to deal with disputes and gain access to justice; in consequence, improving the accuracy, efficacy and fairness of our justice system.”