Last night more than forty young people drawn from a diverse range of London schools and colleges gathered at the

Students from Quintin Kynaston School

Supreme Court to mark the beginning of their involvement in an innovative student-led project exploring the legal systems of the United Kingdom and post-apartheid South Africa.

Volunteers from London law schools are co-ordinating Big Voice 2011, a year-long programme of regular evening sessions hosted by the Supreme Court and a number of London colleges. Participants will be addressed by guest speakers from the legal world, who will introduce a range of legal structures and processes in the jurisdictions covered by the project, and also guide them in beginning to explore broader themes such as access to the law and public perception of the judiciary.

One of the planned outcomes of the programme is a report focusing on practical steps identified by the students which they believe could lead to a greater sense of engagement among non-lawyers with the legal systems which serve and protect them. The Supreme Court is supporting the project through practical assistance, as part of its wider programme of educational activities.