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People helping others better understand the law.

Help others better understand the law

There are many ways to make sense of where ‘the law’ fits into our daily lives.

Because we all have different lived and shared experiences interacting with the law, it means that we will all approach the question of trying to define what is ‘the law’ differently.

Placing the law in context

For some of us, when we first think about ‘the law’ we think about rules and consequences. Throughout our lives we are constantly exposed to standards and expectations of how we must behave in different social contexts. This might be within our family, at school, at work, or even at our local sports club, gym, or environmental group there are rules, and we are all expected to know and follow them.

As one famous legal author once said: ‘in any large group, general rules, standards and principles must be the main instrument of social control.’

Help others better understand the law

One way of understanding the purpose of having the law is to look at the social functions it can provide us. It can give authority to specific groups or people to complete certain activities, provide a way of resolving disagreements, and even be a way of facilitating personal relationships and how they change.

As you make your way through the course, think about the examples presented in the case studies and videos or the topics raised in the comments and then determine how they relate to you.

The Friendly Memo

In week three of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a text-based assignment that we call The Friendly Memo. It’s your chance to bring together everything you’ve learned in the course to create an informal notice that helps others in your jurisdiction better understand the law.

This way you get to share your new knowledge, educate others around you and inform your neighbours of their rights and responsibilities under the common law.

Share what you’ve found online, on Padlet

Another way of showing what you’ve learned is by sharing examples of resources designed to educate people of their rights and responsibilities, on our Law for Non-Lawyers Padlet.

Get creative! The examples you choose don’t need to be limited to Common Law, laws in your jurisdiction, charters, acts or legislation. You’re most welcome to include more informal examples like posters, brochures or online campaigns for issues and topics such as the environment, health, food, recycling, behaviour/conduct, or even public transport usage.


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This article is from the free online course:

Law for Non-Lawyers: Introduction to Law

Monash University

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