Article by Muskan singh at lexcliq


Legal literacy

Introduction –

Legal literacy is the primary level knowledge of law, to make people aware of their rights. In India, roughly minority number of people know what rights they possess. Whereas majority of people have no clue about it, most of them are illiterate or they reside in rural areas of the country where quality education and awareness of law is not accessible to many people, infact literate population of the country is also unaware of the rights they are entitled with by the law.

Legal literacy is the basic right of every human being to have the knowledge of certain laws which are provided to them for their protection against injustices or any unlawful acts. Awareness of legal rights can be used as a tool to fight against injustices. In brief we can say that such awareness regarding a person’s rights will help them to take required actions against any illegal, biased, unlawful circumstances or to help other’s life or property. Legal literacy plays an important role in democracy, if people are unaware of their lawful rights there’s no use of democracy.

“Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”


Importance of legal literacy

Absence of legal literacy can lead to certain circumstances wherein a person may face injustice, discrimination, exploitation and deprivation of rights from their lawful benefits. Legal literacy brings a person the knowledge that he’s not only protected under law but also being monitored. One has to stick to laws and shall not omit any activity that infringe anyone’s rights pr breaches law. Everyone is bound by law and thus, shall refrain from all the unlawful activities.

Legal literacy contributes –

  • To fight injustices, specially against women & children.
  • To promote awareness of lawful rights in every class specially to underprivileged people.
  • To deliver speedy justice.
  • To protect oneself or other person or any property against any unlawful activity.
  • To empower vulnerable people such as women, LGBTQ community, children, underprivileged and poor people.
  • To promote awareness of educational rights.

Methods of promoting legal literacy

Legal literacy can be spread by different methods for creating awareness among people about the knowledge of law such as by empowering legal education at an early age right from school or college levels, hosting and sponsoring events or campaigns for legal literacy among everyone specially in the vulnerable communities which mainly includes underprivileged people or poor people by any authority such as judiciary, media, social platforms, Police department, etc. These different methods actively contribute in promoting legal literacy to masses on a large scale. Even by government of India initiatives were taken for creating legal awareness among public such as in 2005, central government of India initiated National Legal Literacy Mission (NLLM) for promotion of legal awareness among people about it’s Importance and need.

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