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YOUNG PEOPLE & THE LAW. Curriculum Resource Pack: Developing Young People & the Law youth work. Guidance Notes. HOW TO USE THIS PACK: HOW TO DOWNLOAD: To download from website: Click on the link to the pack you want to download

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young people the law


Curriculum Resource Pack:

Developing Young People & the Law youth work

guidance notes
Guidance Notes



To download from website:

  • Click on the link to the pack you want to download
  • From the dialogue box, choose to ‘open’ or ‘save’ the file then click OK
  • The pack will open as a slideshow: all links are live but you will need to left click to advance through the pack.
  • Choose PRINT from the drop down FILE menu to print all or some of the pages (see below)
  • Choose SAVE AS from the drop down FILE menu to save a copy to your hard drive


  • Before printing, delete ‘Index’ arrows by selecting and then pressing DELETE
  • Individual slides can be printed by selecting individual slide numbers or ranges in the PRINT menu
  • To print slides in black & white or grayscale, select the relevant option from the Colour/Grayscale drop down menu when you are about to print


  • These slides may be used to form part of a presentation – press F5 to view as a slideshow
  • To delete individual slides, click on them to select then click on ‘cut’ in the Edit menu
  • To make links ‘live’ you will need to view the pack as a SLIDESHOW – go to the ‘View’ menu or press F5

If you have any comments regarding this pack, or need any additional help in using it, please contact:

SUZANNAH YOUDE: [email protected] or tel: 01622 694276

All information in this pack was correct and all links active at time of upload but may be subject to change

session ideas icebreakers
Session ideas: Icebreakers
  • INSIDE THE CIRCLE divide the group into smaller groups making sure there’s a diverse mix in each group. Hand out blank sheets of flip chart paper and pens and ask each group to draw a big circle in the middle of the paper. Now ask the group to think about 4 laws or rules in their everyday lives that they all agree on e.g. Smoking being banned then ask each member of the group to contribute a unique idea for a law or rule that would improve everyone’s life. Feedback and then display the sheets throughout the session
  • HUMAN KNOT ask young people to stand in a large circle. Now ask each young person to raise their left hand and take the hand of someone across (NOT next to) the circle from them. Now repeat with the right hand. Young people should now all be knotted together and their task is to try and unknot themselves. This is an excellent icebreaker for focusing on team work and problem solving.
  • I HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH...ask young people to sit on chairs in a circle, except one young person who will stand in the centre and start the game. The young person in the middle says: “I have something in common with...” inserting something that is visible and common to other young people in the circle e.g:
    • People wearing jeans
    • People with blonde hair
    • People carrying a bag

Everyone wearing jeans etc gets up and changes places as quickly as possible, leaving one young person in the middle to start the game again. After a few rounds, you could state things that are shared but invisible e.g. Reading books, watching films, sports etc. This is a good icebreaker for looking at diversity and equality – you can emphasise the fact that laws and rules work well when they protect the diversity and equality of communities.

session ideas icebreakers6
Session ideas: Icebreakers
  • DON’T BREAK THE LAW! Tell the group that when you shout orders, they need to obey thems as quickly as possible since anyone who is left out has broken the law. Orders might include: get into groups of 3, get into groups of the same shoe size, get into a group with people wearing jeans, get into a group with people who have the same initial as you. Make sure that the groups give a clear visual signal when they’ve formed – a shout, arms in the sir, all sitting down together etc
  • SOMETHING FISHY give each young person a fish cut out of a sheet of newspaper and another sheet to roll into a tube. Next line everyone up on one side of the room with their fish on the floor in front of them and tell them they’re going to have a race to see who can get their fish to the other side of the room first – they can move their fish by beating the floor behind it. The winner will be the first person to reach the other side of the room. Explain that the fish gets the power to move forward through positive pressure. Direct hits achieved nothing. Ask participants what they can learn from this simple exercise - this exercise should demonstrate to the participants that violence and aggression are not the best ways to convince someone of your point of view.
  • STRING HANDCUFFS young people will try and get apart from a pair of interlocking string ‘handcuffs’ – please view the link below for the way this puzzle works:

session ideas discussion points
Session ideas: Discussion Points
  • Do you agree that the criminal law for youth should be different than for adults?
  • Do you agree that at 18 you are more mature, and able to make better moral judgments than when you are 17? Do you think age is associated with a certain maturity level, or do you think picking a particular age is just a random choice?
  • Committing a crime involves doing something wrong, but also knowing that your actions were against the law. The age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10. Do you think young people under the age of 18 are generally able to understand both of these things?
  • Why do you think the law treats young people differently to adults?
  • Watch the video Do the concerns of the young people in the video regarding the attitudes of the police reflect your own views?
  • Do you have direct experience of the law that you can share with the group – has the law helped you, your family & community in some way? Have you been in trouble with the law? Have you been able to use the law to make life better for yourself, your family and/or your community?
  • Do you think soap operas are a load of rubbish? Or are they good at making you think about the consequences of your actions?
  • Do you agree or disagree with this statements:
    • You have the right to an education and you have the responsibility to not disrupt lessons and prevent your classmates from their right to an education
    • You have the right to buy and smoke a cigarette if you’re old enough but other people have the right to good health and you have the responsibility to respect that
    • I have the right to be gay and not to be bullied about my sexuality but some people’s religious beliefs give them the right not to be supportive and I have the responsibility to respect their views
session ideas activities
Session ideas: Activities


  • ACTIVITY 1 - DISCUSSION: Give young people a brief outline of what a court does: describe the roles of the judge (who sums up arguments, keeps order and passes sentences); the prosecuting lawyers who argue against the defendant; the defending lawyers who argue in favour of the defendant; lastly, the jury who are twelve members of the public who have to make the final decision. Encourage young people who want to share their experiences of court to do so. Explain that in this game instead of a defendant there are a series of statements.
    • Divide the group into small groups of 4 and give each group one of the statements. 2 of the group will argue for the statement and 2 against. Give the groups about 10 minutes to come up with their arguments – remind them that they need to be objective and leave their personal feelings out of their arguments
    • Bring the group back together and explain that, whilst each group gives their arguments the rest of the group will act as the jury. Ask for a volunteer to be the judge each time – they will keep things fair, ask questions that make things clear and act as timekeeper (alternatively, the session leader can act as the judge each time)
    • Allow each group 3 minutes to put forward defence and prosecution arguments. After their 3 minutes, ask the rest of the group acting as the jury to vote on who gave the best arguments, defence or prosecution
    • ACTIVITY 2 (alternative) – NON ROLE PLAY:
      • Divide the group into 2 teams FOR and AGAINST. Ask the AGAINST team to make a circle facing outwards and the FOR team to make a circle facing them.
      • The session leader reads out a statement and gives the 2 teams a few minutes to think of their arguments, reminding them to keep their personal opinions to themselves. The 2 teams then have a couple of minutes to argue for or against with the person standing opposite them.
      • Stop the activity, ask the FOR team to move round one place, read the statement again and restart the activity.
      • Repeat once more, then stop the activity and ask if anyone heard any arguments that made them change their opinion. Now start with another statement but with the teams swapping sides.

LEADER’S NOTE: Challenge where necessary, reminding young people that certain opinions may be totally unacceptable in a court room and may even be illegal e.g. name calling (libel, defamation), making sexist, racist, homophobic and anti religious comments (hate crime)

session ideas activities9
Session ideas: Activities


  • ACTIVITY 3 – FEEDBACK: bring the group back together in a circle. Hand round a law related prop (judge’s wig, gavel, police badge etc) and ask each young person to share:
    • Something that surprised or shocked them
    • How they actually, personally felt about some of the statements
    • Whether they changed their minds listening to the arguments
    • Which statement they most agreed with and why
    • Which statement they most disagreed with and why
    • ACTIVITY 4 – EXTENSION ACTIVITY: If you want to take the idea of a mock trial further, the Citizenship Foundation has an excellent, well detailed resource for staging a full scale mock trial here:
mock trial statements
Mock Trial Statements

It’s ok for young people to stand up for themselves against authority

Women shouldn’t train to be doctors or pilots because after a few years they’ll want to get pregnant

You can say what you like about someone on your personal Facebook page

If a boyfriend gets really jealous it means they must really love their partner

If your friend has some music or a film you want to see it’s ok to copy it from them

It’s all right to threaten to hit somebody if they really annoy you

A gay couple or a lesbian couple make very good parents

You can use somebody else’s sleeping tablets if they say you can

Borrowing your friend’s MP3 player without their say so is ok if you intend to give it back

session ideas activities11
Session ideas: Activities


  • ACTIVITY 1 – SCENARIOS: divide the group into smaller groups and give each group a scenario to look at. Ask them to prepare a short role play based on their scenario. Give the groups 10-15 minutes to prepare then ask them to act out their scenarios
  • ACTIVITY 2 – DISCUSSION: after each scenario, ask for feedback on the following questions:
    • Did this scenario feature civil or criminal activity?
    • What might be the consequences of these actions?
    • Who do you have most sympathy for – the young person or the victim?
    • Why do you feel like that?
    • What could be done to stop events like these taking place in the future?
session ideas activities14
Session ideas: Activities


ACTIVITY 1 (Discussion): Start by having a discussion about laws – why do we have them? What is the purpose of laws – think about rights and responsibilities. Would society be just as good if we didn’t have laws to stop us from doing some of the things we want to do? You could use the activity sheet to guide the discussion

ACTIVITY 2 (Groupwork): Divide the group into smaller groups/pairs. Ask each group to think about the following scenario: “You and some of your friends are stranded on an otherwise uninhabited planet. Think about the problems you might have amongst yourselves. What rules or laws would you need to live together happily? What would you do about anyone who broke those rules?” Give each group a piece of flip chart paper and ask them to draw the following table – each group needs to make sure that they all agree on the new laws!

ACTIVITY 3 (Plenary): Bring the group back together to feedback their lists – what issues/laws/punishments did they have in common? Were there any surprises? Did thinking about living without laws change attitudes about why we have laws? What laws does everyone agree that we need to have? Are there any laws that are wrong and need changing? And are there some laws that we could live without?

SESSION LEADER NOTE: You could talk about the idea of ‘anarchy’ which actually means ‘living without laws’. We think of anarchy as meaning chaos, but is there a way that living without laws might mean we have to be more disciplined and compassionate in the way we treat other people and not less when there are no laws to tell us what to do?

life without laws
Life Without Laws

Why do you think people thought it was necessary to pass the following laws?

Leader’s note: print one leader’s copy then delete the text in red and print copies for young people

young people the law work in action personal safety leaflet
Young People & The Law: Work in ActionPersonal Safety Leaflet

Need: a young person who had been assaulted identified the need for a personal safety resource for young people


  • Raising awareness of personal safety issues in the county, especially relating to young people
  • Designing & producing an information leaflet

Methods: A core group of 10 young people used group work, practical activity and discussion to work with Kent Police, KYCC & the Youth Parliament, then consulted with 250 young people at the Kent County Show

Implementation: Over an 18 month period

Evidence & Evaluation:

  • Benefits of partnership working and consultation
  • Fund raising
  • Supplying young people with attack alarms
  • Design skills
  • Presentation skills developed self esteem and confidence
  • Production of award winning personal safety leaflet
  • Group & individual awards
  • Development of Kent & Medway Young People’s Personal Safety Group

How could this activity be developed further?

  • Produce further leaflets on issues relevant to young people

How could this activity be accredited?

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Volunteering section)
  • Youth Achievement Award (as part of 15 hour challenge)
young people the law work in action twocing programme
Young People & The Law: Work in ActionTWOCING Programme

Need: young men aged 14-17 identified as being at risk of becoming involved in TWOCING


  • Looking at the impact on perceptions of alcohol, drugs & other substances
  • Diverting young men away from engaging in criminal activities including TWOCING (Taking Without Consent)
  • Raising awareness safety issues around risk taking behaviour
  • Challenging young people’s attitudes to criminal activities

Methods: First aid course, driving theory test session, police & fire session, Brands Hatch driving session

Implementation: 8 week driving programme

Evidence & Evaluation:

  • Recognition of impact of crime on others i.e. victims, other young people, peer group
  • Learning dangers & consequences of actions personally & legally
  • Learning how to drive safely & responsibly
  • Driving theory test
  • First Aid skills
  • Practical driving skills

How could this activity be developed further?

  • NVQ L1 in car mechanics (24 week course)

How could this activity be accredited?

  • Driving theory test
  • St John’s First Aid certificate
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Volunteering section)
  • Youth Achievement Award (as part of 15 hour challenge)
young people the law work in action graffiti anti social behaviour
Young People & The Law: Work in ActionGraffiti & Anti Social Behaviour

Need: issues identified in young people’s feedback & programme evaluation of previous workshops


  • Teaching young people how to use sketches and planning and work safely with spray cans
  • Looking at health & safety, anti social behaviour
  • Raising awareness of graffiti/tagging and anti social behaviour

Methods: Group work, practical activity, discussion

Implementation: 4 day workshop using small boards and then a big wall

Evidence & Evaluation:

  • Practical knowledge gained – planning, designing, health & safety, environmental issues
  • Challenging attitudes towards graffiti & tagging
  • Recognising graffiti as an art form & planning & effort involved
  • Recognising tagging without permission as vandalism & the legal implications
  • Exploring strengths & weaknesses of individuals
  • Team work used to plan & produce final pieces
  • Photos & press release

How could this activity be developed further?

  • Art courses at local college
  • Developing work started during the project
  • Young people led sessions with support from artists

How could this activity be accredited?

  • Certificates of attendance from Kent Police (awarded)
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Volunteering section)
  • Youth Achievement Award (as part of 15 hour challenge)
young people the law work in action rights responsibilities
Young People & The Law: Work in ActionRights & Responsibilities

Need: to explore young people’s attitudes to the law and their personal rights & responsibilities


  • Exploring young people’s attitudes to the law and enabling them to recognise that the law is there to protect them, their families and communities
  • Exploring attitudes to illegal behaviour, when actions are right or wrong and the consequences of actions
  • Exploring morals & values & understanding that the law covers a wide range of issues

Methods: Group work, questionnaires, trip to the Old Bailey in London (or a local Magistrates court)

Implementation: evenings and holiday (trip to Old Bailey)

Evidence & Evaluation:

  • Young people were able to make risk assessments and be clear on the consequences of their behaviour
  • Young people explored their rights & responsibilities in law
  • Young people visited the Old Bailey and experienced court proceedings first hand
  • Young people identified gaps in their knowledge
  • Young people led evaluation of activities & programme

How could this activity be developed further?

  • Young people identified issues around their rights & responsibilities under law & partcipated in planning sessions to address those issues

How could this activity be accredited?

  • Youth worker recorded young people’s attendance & contributions
  • Young people were directly involved in planning & evaluating the activity
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Volunteering section)
  • Youth Achievement Award (as part of 15 hour challenge)
evaluation ideas and methods
Evaluation Ideas and Methods
  • ROLL OF HONOUR: hand round a toilet roll and ask young people to take as many sheets as they would like. Now go round the group and ask each young person to say one thing about the activity/session/project – snag is, they need to say one thing for each sheet of toilet roll they have. You can also do this with sweets like Smarties or Skittles
  • BINGO: use the bingo card below to encourage young people to interview each other about the activity/session/project (they can do this individually or work in pairs). Then use the completed cards to feedback to the rest of the group. Encourage young people to capture as many different opinions as they can.
  • COLOUR BLOCKING: Divide a piece of flip chart paper into quarters and label them BLUE – police colour, RED – danger colour , ORANGE – emergency colour & YELLOW – motivation colour. Encourage young people to think about the issues you’ve been discussing and then to assess what they would do about those issues (police them), what the problems/risks are (danger), what the priorities are (emergency) and what would motivate people to get involved in doing something about the issues
  • GRAFFITTI WALL: put up a large piece of paper on one wall (wallpaper lining paper is cheap and useful for this) and leave a supply of coloured pens nearby. Encourage young people to jot down their thoughts, ideas and feedback throughout the session
  • EVALUATION WALL: give each young person 3 post-it notes and ask them to write something they loved about the activity/session/project on one post-it, something they hated on another and something they would change on the third. Then arrange them as the diagram below:




model evaluation sheets
Model Evaluation Sheets

Below you’ll find model evaluation sheets for:

  • Youth workers/session leaders (including young people)
  • Young people

Other evaluation sheets and ideas can be found in the Planning and Evaluation Sheets Pack and the Planning and Evaluation Template Pack, available here:

Have Your Say!



What did you do?

How do you rate it?

Would you do it again?

Write down the most interesting thing you learned about the following stuff -

Young people & the law:

The issues:

Finding out more:

What did you get out of it – could be something you learned or a friendship made

Think about other information or follow ups that would be useful and write them here:

Please write any other ideas,

comments and suggestions here: