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8 June, 2004

Passport to the law takes off in Scotland

A passport-size guide to the law for young people was launched by Hugh Henry, Deputy Minister for Justice, on Tuesday, June 8th.

The Young Citizen’s Passport has been produced jointly by the Law Society of Scotland, educational publisher Hodder Gibson and the Citizenship Foundation.

More than 60 pupils from secondary schools throughout Scotland celebrated the launch at the Signet Library in Edinburgh.

The colour-coded booklet is aimed at 14-19 year olds and contains 12 chapters of practical advice and information on the law in Scotland and how it affects young people. Included are sections on safety, health, travel, money, the police and courts.

A comprehensive contacts section offers over 100 useful addresses, websites and telephone numbers to contact when things go wrong – or just for everyday information and advice.

The Passport can also be used as a resource for school teachers, mentors, youth workers and personal advisors.

Deputy Minister for Justice Hugh Henry welcomed the new passport and said: “The Young Citizen’s Passport Scotland will help raise awareness of the importance of citizenship. It sets out in clear terms the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in modern Scotland. It will help educate young Scottish citizens about their rights and responsibilities, as well as the law and legal system. Effective information like this allows young people to make effective choices, and helps them be responsible citizens.”

Douglas Mill, Chief Executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “We are delighted to support Young Citizen’s Passport Scotland. Young people should have easy access to the law and information on how it relates to them. School leavers will face situations every day where the law has a direct impact on their lives and the Passport will be an invaluable reference point for what to do and where to go when that happens.”

John Mitchell, Managing Director of Hodder Gibson said: ”In England and Wales over 750,000 teenagers have had copies of the Young Citizen’s Passport. The launch in Scotland means that Scottish teenagers now have the same chance as young people south of the border to access an up-to-date, accessible and handy-sized guide to the law. The Passport has been described as a Tardis – it looks compact from the outside but once you step inside, it’s vast.”

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said: “We are thrilled that this partnership with the Law Society of Scotland and Hodder Gibson has enabled the publication of a Scottish edition of the popular and award-winning Young Citizen’s Passport.”

Young Citizen’s Passport Scotland will be available from selected bookshops priced £3.99.

To find out more please email:

Notes for editors:

Photos of the launch are available on request.

The Law Society of Scotland represents Scotland’s 10,000 solicitors and the public in relation to the profession. The Society promotes legal education in Scotland to school leavers, students, trainees and solicitors throughout their professional lives through a number of initiatives.

Hodder Gibson is the leading provider of Scottish specific textbooks and revision guides for secondary schools and is a division of Hodder Education, one of the UK’s largest secondary and further education publisher.

The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity which aims to empower individuals to engage in the wider community through education about the law, democracy and society. The Foundation’s work includes resources, training, active learning, community projects and research.

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