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Wrong about Rights: Public Knowledge of Key Areas of Consumer, Housing and Employment Law in England and Wales

Pleasence, PT; Balmer, NJ; Denvir, C; (2017) Wrong about Rights: Public Knowledge of Key Areas of Consumer, Housing and Employment Law in England and Wales. Modern Law Review , 80 (5) pp. 836-859. 10.1111/1468-2230.12290. Green open access

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Abstract

Over many decades, processes of juridification have brought about huge growth in legal rights, responsibilities and protections, yet citizens appear to poorly understand this ‘law thick’ world. This impacts citizens’ capacity to ‘name, blame and claim’ in the legal domain at a time of retreat from public funding of civil legal services. This article examines public knowledge of rights in key areas relating to consumer, housing and employment law. Drawing on data from the 2010–2012 English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey, the article uses responses to a series of hypothetical scenarios to explore public knowledge of rights and characteristics associated with knowledge. Our findings highlight a substantial deficit in individuals’ understanding of legal rights and responsibilities – even among those for whom particular rights and responsibilities have specific bearing. We also consider what these findings mean for public legal education and the efficiency, efficacy and legitimacy of the law.

Type: Article
Title: Wrong about Rights: Public Knowledge of Key Areas of Consumer, Housing and Employment Law in England and Wales
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12290
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2230.12290
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: legal rights, access to justice, public legal education, justiciable problems, civil justice
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573197
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