About Us

The Centre for Education, Law and Society was established in 1984 and given formal approval by the Board of Governors in 1994.

CELS and Law Related Education
Law related education encompasses: an understanding of law, its role in society and its impact on the individual; the relationship between law and citizenship; issues relating to social justice and fundamental human rights; conflict and dispute resolution; school law, policies, procedures and culture.

Our Mission
To improve the legal literacy of children and young adults through a program of teaching, curriculum development, research and community initiatives.

Our Focus
In general, our work focuses on four themes and their relationship to law related education:

  • Human rights: the nature of human rights in civil society and their crucial role in maintaining a just society.
  • Identity: the importance of equity and how a just society is sensitive to identity related issues.
  • Citizenship: citizenship as a multi faceted concept that involves an awareness of, and dedication to, protecting and advancing social justice, human rights and social equality.
  • Sustainability: Our capacity to advance and protect human rights and social justice is intimately connected to our commitment to making our communities, nation and planet environmentally viable for all of us and for future generations.

What We Do At CELS
CELS works primarily with teachers and prospective teachers, school administrators, and educational and legal organizations to help fulfill its mandate. Projects range in scope from research into social responsibility and the ethics of care and justice, to publications that assess the educational benefits of mock trials, to conferences on topical legal issues, to the formation of a website that helps educators address the legal content in the school curriculum. Projects vary from year to year, depending on identified needs, the Centre's priorities, and funding opportunities.

CELS has a network of university faculty, researchers and consultants available to assist educators interested in legal literacy and related issues.  Some topics we may be able to help with include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Cyberbullying
  • Teaching about law, justice and human rights
  • School law

For more information contact CELS at cels@sfu.ca