Legal education for children and youth

The Parliament has voted in favour of law-related education as a compulsory school subject

The VeDem Just (Voices for Democracy and Justice) Association welcomes today’s vote in the Romanian Senate, as a decision-making chamber, regarding the introduction of entrepreneurial, financial and law-related education as compulsory subjects, starting with the next school year. The law will enter into force after promulgation by the President of the country and publication in the Official Gazette.

The legislative proposal, submitted at the beginning of the year in the Parliament, aimed at amending the National Education Law no. 1/2011. Initially, the bill only proposed the introduction of entrepreneurial and financial education, and the Chamber of Deputies adopted it in this form on September 7, 2021. An amendment on law-related education was introduced in the Senate Committee on Education, Youth and Sports. Today, as a decision-making chamber, the Senate adopted the law that provides new key competencies for the training of students in primary and secondary education: entrepreneurial, financial and law-related education.

VeDem Just, promoter of legal education in schools, welcomes the introduction of this subject in the common core. The organization highlights the fact that, thanks to its efforts spanning more than five years, law-related education is currently being studied as an optional subject in the curriculum at the decision of the school by 6,900 students from 122 schools, located in 33 counties and is taught by 138 teachers trained by the association. The purpose of this subject is to ensure accountability among youths, to increase the understanding and concrete defence of human rights, to reduce juvenile delinquency and the number of underage victims, to increase the degree of understanding and acceptance of normative acts, to respect state authority, to bring justice closer to the citizens. The association proposes that the Ministry of Education accept the partnership offer for the composition of the law-related education curriculum in order to implement it throughout the country, starting with the next school year, and provides all teachers with several resources that can be used successfully in class: the „Student and The law ”guide, including a version in Romanian Sign Language, which is translated into several foreign languages ​​and is accepted as an international resource by the UNODC, the mobile application Lege-n-Dar, the virtual tour of the court, mock trials with youths.

The introduction of this subject is in line with international standards: the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative based on the Doha Declaration – Promoting a culture of lawfulness, adopted in 2015 by the United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, respectively the recommendation of the Council of the European Union from 2018 on key lifelong competences that should also include citizen competences, including understanding legal concepts and structures.

Judge Cristi Danileț, PhD

VeDem Just member,