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STREET LAW, empowering Schools and Communities about the Law

You’ve heard about the law of the streets, that’s when a community that receives no justice and takes matters into its own hands. But that’s not what Street Law is. It’s a program being utilized across the Caribbean and being piloted at Delile Academy in the south and St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena. Street Law is designed to empower communities. Love News spoke to St. Ignatius High School board member, Hector Guerra; Street Law Caribbean Executive Director, Christopher Malcolm, and Supreme Court Justice of Belize, Hon. Courtney Abel about the program’s implementation at St. Ignatius High School.

Hector Guerra – Board Member, St Ignatius High School: “The St. Ignatius High School is located in Santa Elena Town. It is certainly one of the more faster-developing schools in the area, we have a wide cross-section of students coming to the school. Today what is happening is that we are starting to develop what is called the Street Law Program and so today we were here to witness this program being taught to the students. What the Street Law Program is trying to do is to empower students from the San Ignacio, Santa Elena Town area by teaching them their fundamental right. Today students learned about their right to vote, they learned about direct democracy. “

Christopher Malcolm – Executive Director Street Law Caribbean: “What street law is, is a modality, a teaching and learning modality which has packaged the regular law so we look at things having to do with the Constitution, citizenship, and governance. We looked at things having to do with the legal system that we have in Belize; how the court system functions and so on and we look at things having to do with business including areas of Contract Law, Intellectual Property Law and so on. We take those, we demystify them and package them in a way where we can teach them in an easy to understand way to the students in schools and to community groups more generally. That is what street law is. So to be short, street law is a method by which we have been able to package law in a demystified and simplified way so we can teach it to regular persons by going to them.  Our motto for Street Law Caribbean is simply one of saying we are taking law to the streets.

Hon. Courtney Abel – Supreme Court Justice of Belize: ‘It is all about disseminating information into the community. Effectively what we do such as the business and the activity that we are engaged in. Naturally there is a synergy there between what we do and what this Street Law Program is and when it was explained to me by Dr. Malcolm I was immediately enthused about it and you know pledged to lend my support to it and that of the court.”

Street Law Caribbean Executive Director, Christopher Malcolm says he intends for a national rollout of the program in September.