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Open Justice Centre is improving lives through online learning for the advice sector

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The OU Law School’s Open Justice Centre has developed a prototype online learning module in discrimination and human rights law training for charities.

This follows a five-month collaborative project earlier this year with AdviceUK, the UK’s largest network of independent social welfare advice organisations, which was funded by a £67,000 grant from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Law lecturers Hugh McFaul and Francine Ryan from the Open Justice Centre worked closely with Chilli Reid, Executive Director, and colleagues at AdviceUK on the ‘Improving lives through online learning for the advice sector: Discrimination and Human Rights’ project. They reviewed current training resources around discrimination and human rights law, and identified training needs for those working across the advice sector by engaging with a range of social welfare advice organisations.

This research informed the design of the prototype online learning module which comprises five hours of learning, developed by the OU’s Learning and Teaching Innovation (LTI), which is now available as ‘A practical guide to UK human rights and discrimination law’. All AdviceUK members have also received a briefing on discrimination and human rights resources.

Through the OU’s expertise in developing open access learning, and thanks to the generous funding from the EHRC, this innovative collaboration will support the capacity of AdviceUK and its member organisations to address discrimination and human rights law issues.

The project will make a significant contribution to improving access to justice across the advice sector. The feedback we received during testing was very positive and encouraging; we’re sure it will be a real support to these organisations.

Not only this, it offers the opportunity to act as an introductory course for the general public in these issues in a period of reduced access to free legal advice. It’s designed for the mass market and we’re hoping it will help many thousands of people over time.

Hugh McFaul and Francine Ryan, Open Justice Centre

A resource developed in conjunction with AdviceUK members themselves which can be used both for advisers and provides legal education to the public is very welcome. It opens up learning opportunities to a wide audience; supporting access to justice around discrimination and human rights.

Chilli Reid, AdviceUK’s Executive Director

The Open Justice Centre hopes the success of this project will act as a catalyst for increased grant funding to develop further accessible resources for the wider advice sector.

Please contact AdviceUK if you would like more information about the UK’s largest network of independent advice organisations, which has more than 650 members making up around 40% of the UK charitable advice sector.

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