Empowering Students to Work for Just Societies: A Handbook for Secondary School TeachersWhy is education important for the rule of law?

Adolescence is a crucial period of development, during which identity, belonging and socialization - especially among peers - are particularly important. Schools play a major role in the socialization of young people, their development, the construction of their ideas and their conception of justice, democracy and human rights.

Education systems that promote respect for the rule of law in accordance with international instruments on human rights and fundamental freedoms strengthen the relationship between learners and public institutions, with the ultimate goal of empowering young people. means of becoming defenders of peace and justice. Teachers are usually the main actor in this work and have a decisive influence, along with families, on the attitudes and behaviors of young people.

The rule of law is the foundation of strong and peaceful societies. It is defined as “a principle of governance by virtue of which all individuals, institutions and public and private entities, including the State itself, are held accountable for the observance of laws promulgated in public, enforced by law. identically for all and administered independently, and compatible with international human rights rules and standards ”(United Nations, 2004, p. 4). The rule of law is based on the fact that all individuals, institutions and entities enjoy the right to the protection of the law and the right to access to justice while being accountable for their actions before the law (whether governments, corporations or individuals).

Mutual trust and respect for rules and codes of conduct are at the heart of the rule of law. As stated in the UNESCO and UNODC (2019) guide “Strengthening the rule of law through education: a guide for policymakers”: A society that supports the rule of law is not not composed of obedient and devoid of critical thinking citizens, but a society whose citizens understand and respect fair laws, know how they work and know how to constructively contribute to them or challenge them when necessary, within the framework of mechanisms and appropriate institutions (p. 8).

Education - of which the teaching staff is the cornerstone - has a decisive role to play in ensuring that future generations are not only gifted citizens of a critical mind, but also enlightened actors and actresses. (e) s and autonomous prepared to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies. By leading to a common understanding of the rules that govern a society - and the rights and duties associated with them - ECM contributes to the development of a sense of solidarity and mutual responsibility between the population and the government, and therefore to a culture of legality.

Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is in a way the reading grid of this manual allowing a closer study of the role of education in promoting the rule of law. This manual draws on the experience of other educational processes, including human rights education, education for peace, education for sustainable development and education for international and intercultural understanding. Read more

source: UNESCO