Streetlaw gives students the opportunity to get involved in a historic project that educates members of the public about the law. We deliver knowledge of law, democracy and human rights to people would not otherwise have access to legal education.
BPP students provide interactive learning presentations on the law to various groups, including primary and secondary school pupils, prison inmates, community groups and the homeless. Students also help children set up mock Citizenship Foundation's trials in their schools and to prepare for their mock trial competitions.
What is BPP Streetlaw?
BPP Streetlaw was established in 2004 as part of the BPP Pro Bono Centre. It is a legal literacy programme which increases legal awareness and broadens appreciation of the role of law in society.
Streetlaw projects benefit both the wider community and law students, who learn valuable legal and professional skills. The project is open to all BPP students on all courses.
How does the project work?
Through the Streetlaw project, law students research, design, draft and deliver interactive presentations on the law to groups in the community that might not have access to legal information or education, or that may have a negative perspective on the legal system.
We work with a range of community groups, including schoolchildren and youth groups (through Streetlaw Schools and Youth Groups), prisoners and ex-offenders (through Streetlaw Prisons), and with the homeless (through Streetlaw Homeless). Our BPTC students also assist school groups to prepare for mock trial competitions (through Streetlaw Mock Trials).
Streetlaw Prisons is a student-led initiative under the BPP Pro Bono Centre that enhances prisoners' understanding of the role law plays in civil society, whilst imparting general legal information. Its aim is to equip prisoners with the skills and knowledge that will facilitate their reintegration in society upon their release.
It was set up in January 2005 by then BPP student (and former prison officer) Joanne Sutherland. Since then, teams of students have been attending high security prisons on a weekly basis to provide Streetlaw presentations on human rights, discrimination and disclosure to inmates who are serving the final weeks of their sentence and are about to be released.
In addition, Streetlaw Prisons has also developed links with other organisations that encourage the rehabilitation of offenders.
Presentation topics differ depending on the need of each organisation, and include Disclosure of Criminal Convictions, Stop and Search, Family Law, Offensive Weapons and Joint Enterprise, Housing Law and Searches of the Property and Violence (ABH & GBH).
Streetlaw Schools focuses on primary and secondary school children in disadvantaged communities. We are currently working with children aged 8-17 in schools across London. We give 40-60 minute presentations to classes on topics that relate to them covering basic civil and criminal rights.
Streetlaw Homeless focuses on providing highly practical and interactive presentations to disadvantaged and homeless people. The project is motivated by a passion for seeing people largely sceptical of the English legal system empowered through a basic understanding of the law as it affects them on a daily basis.
Sessions on Rights to Housing, the Rights and Wrongs of Rough Sleeping and Routes to Employment can really make a difference to people’s lives.
Another key aspect of the project is addressing wider legal issues which may not have a direct impact on the everyday lives of our audience but which serve to provoke deeper thought and challenge often entrenched views. To this end, we have delivered lively presentations on subjects including human rights and immigration law.
Streetlaw Homeless is rapidly expanding and typically gives three or four presentations a month; the project has grown in the last couple of years and we have developed strong relationships with several shelters, charities and other community groups.