As part of the community action part of my Queen's Guide Award, I decided to use my knowledge of law to create some resources suitable for peer education. On this page you will find details of the activities I've created and suggestions on how to run them. It's very hard to use peer education techniques to teach people factual information. They're designed to promote discussion, rather than impart information, however, there will eventually be some more detailed information about various areas of law on this site that will provide useful back up material.
This is an activity designed to get people to recognise the inconsistencies in the law and can lead into a great discussion on what the law ought to say in particular areas. The version here is one best suited for those aged over ten. Younger children would need fewer choices. There is a PDF document containing each of these statements. Print them out, cut up into individual strips and get the participants to match age with activity. Allow lots of time for discussion.
All of the film classifications are as the ages suggest ie. you must be 12 to see a 12A film unaccompanied in the cinema.
The age of consent to medical treatment is a trick question. There is no minimum age at which one can consent to medical treatment. Anyone aged 18 or over who is competent (ie. not unconscious or sufficientally mentally ill as to be detained under the provisions of the mental health legislation) may consent to or refuse medical treatment as they wish. This is the case regardless of the consequences of someone declining to accept treatment (ie. one may decline treatment with the consequence that one dies, one may also decline treatment regardless of the consequences to any foetus). Those aged 16 and 17 are competent to consent to treatment (unless unconscious or subject to mental health legislation). However, they are still considered children and may have unwanted medical treatment forced upon them if someone else is able to consent for them. If someone aged 16 or 17 does not consent to treatment, consent may be sought from anyone with parental responsibility for the young person. If all the people with parental responsibility also refuse consent, the doctors may ask the courts to consent to the treatment. These provisions have been used where young people have refused blood transfusions on religious grounds and the courts have allowed the doctors to proceed with the treatment as being in the children's best interests. Those aged under 16 may consent to medical treatment providing they are competent to do so - this means that they must understand the nature of the treatment, its side effects, alternatives and so on all in the context of their own cultural or moral values. Competence will arise for different children at different ages and for different illnesses at different ages eg. it's far easier to understand the consequences where the dilema is: 'you have asthma, this medicine is well tested and non-treated asthma can be fatal - here try it' than it is where the dilema is: 'you have cancer, we could treat it this way or we could try this new technique. We think you've a better chance if we try this new technique, but it's up to you. It's not tested and it poses fairly serious risks in itself'. If a child is not competent/or is competent and refusing treatment, then consent can be provided by anyone with parental responsibility for the child or the courts.
This is an activity designed to get people thinking about the legal/moral consequences of particular choices. Put the participants in small groups and ask them to discuss each of the scenarios , thinking of firstly all the things they could possibly do, then of what they individually would do in those circumstances and finally what they should do given that situation.
Could you, would you, should you
The aim of this task is to get participants to consider a situation from a view point other than their own. Allocate roles to participants and then explain that they've been called together at a meeting to discuss what's going to happen to the two lads (note that this kind of meeting would not happen in this way in the real world). Leave them to discuss and see what conclusions they reach/what points come out of the discussion.
Role Play instructions