Do you Know the Law?

A reference book for children and young adults – Published on Current Concerns no 20, by Caroline Walser Kessel, October 2011.

Kick-off to the book with the title “Do you know the law?” was an interdisciplinary study that was conducted in 2003–2005 in primary and high schools in Zurich. The study, in which the author cooperated as a lawyer, inquired, how well the sense of justice is trained with children. About 700 children and young adults in primary and high school age and some adults were interviewed about their sense of fairness and sense of justice.  

This so-called “Fair-play study” showed that already small children do not only know and understand general legal maxims independently of their social and ethnic origin like the mechanism of public debt, the principle of faithful and faith or the principle of reasonableness, but that they also use this in order to solve legal questions. However according to the study it is more difficult to transfer the knowledge onto reality. The children and young people often lacked well-founded knowledge of the legal bases and concrete knowledge of the offense or the severity of criminality of an act. For the research team the results of the study were a positive starting point for further developmental work. How could you give children and young people “a hand in the back” so they hit in this specific case with confidence and courage in a correct way? The teaching material and reading book, “Do you know the law?” shall now fill this gap. It addresses children and young people starting from year 12 and gives them a comprehensive survey over the legal bases, which regulate our living together. Anyone who imagines a dry treatise on legal articles, is pleasantly surprised … //

… The author carefully shows how the fundamental rights of humans are constructed and sets a worthy framework for human living by legal regulations important to know for all children and young adults. The knowledge of the legal issues is not only an important support for them for resolving outstanding issues, but also an important introduction to civic rights and duties. “Do you know the law?” is a didactically well-structured textbook that initiates the discussion in school (and family), but also presents  an informative non-fiction for readers of all generations. (full text).


Book in german: Caroline Walser Kessel, Kennst du das Recht? Editions Weblaw Bern 2011. ISBN 3-905742-83-1

Fair Play: Kinder lernen das Gesetz, Vortrag von Caroline Walser Kessel und Maria Crespo anlässlich der Münchner Tagung zur Rechtsvisualisierung, zum Audiovisuellen und Multisensorischen Recht.

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