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Litigants in Person

Helpful information for those representing themselves in Court

With the ever-decreasing access to legal aid and other free advice services, more people are choosing to represent themselves in court (Litigants in Person – LiPs). This can be fraught with difficulty and anxiety for litigants and solicitors alike.

This page contains links to advice for anyone thinking of going it alone, and for solicitors who may have to face LiPs.

Please note the advice contained in these links is the responsibility of the respective third party authors. Leeds Law Society accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.

Litigants in Person: new guidelines for lawyers (June 2015)

Prepared jointly by the Bar Council, CILEx and the Law Society offering practical advice for lawyers who face litigants in person in the civil courts and tribunals.

Walker Morris Summary and Comment on Litigants in Person: new guidelines for lawyers (July 2015)

Overview, key points and comment.

A Handbook for Litigants in Person (22 October 2013)

In the Foreword to this Guide, Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, explains: “Access to justice is a right not a privilege. That right has in the vast majority of cases traditionally been exercised by members of the public through the services of a lawyer. Over the last ten years there has however been an increase in the number of individuals who have, for various reasons, pursued and defended claims on their own behalf: they have been and are litigants in person (or self-represented litigants). It is anticipated that in the years to come the number of litigants in person will increase and perhaps will do so sharply.

“In an environment where more individuals litigate on their own behalf it is incumbent on the judiciary, amongst others, to do what it can to help them navigate the civil justice system as effectively as they can. To that end this handbook, which is specifically aimed at those litigants in person engaged in proceedings on the multi-track, has been prepared by a number of very experienced Circuit Judges under the lead of His Honour Judge Bailey and has very kindly been produced by Linklaters.

“It should not be forgotten that litigation is not easy, nor should it be embarked upon lightly. For those who do need to resort to the courts in order to enforce their rights, and do so without the assistance of a lawyer, the guidance provided in this handbook will be of real, practical assistance. It is clear and comprehensive. It is detailed and accessible. It will, I am sure, play an important role in rendering the civil litigation process less daunting and more accessible for those litigants who represent themselves. In that regard it will play an important part in helping to maintain our commitment to access to justice as a right available to all.”

The University of Law – Legal Advice Clinic

The clinic is a new initiative launched in March 2016 aimed at providing legal advice to those members of the public who would otherwise not qualify for legal aid or for any reason are not able to access legal advice. The clinic is run from the University of Law centre on Park Row in Leeds and they operate an appointment only service and so the clinic is not suitable for someone who wishes to attend on a drop in basis.

Representing yourself in Court by the Bar Council (April 2013)

A guide to help you on your legal journey, written by barristers who have extensive experience across all courts and understand how the system works.

The Interim Applications Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court: A guide for litigants in person (11 January 2013)

A guide for litigants in person making applications to the Interim Applications Court of the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court, published by the judiciary.

Interim Applications in the Chancery Division: A Guide for Litigants in Person (22 October 2013)

A guide designed to help litigants in person make or respond to an interim application to the Chancery Division of the High Court, explaining steps LiPs need to take and with tips on the best way to go about it.

A guide to proceedings in the Supreme Court for those without a legal representative (February 2014)

Summarises the provisions which govern the conduct of proceedings in the Supreme Court.

Help for those dealing with issues in the Family Courts from the NFM

Information outlining the support available to those intending to represent themselves in court on family issues.

Family Law – A guide for Litigants in Person (September 2014)

Guidance for people representing themselves in the West Yorkshire Family Court.

Family Law – further support and information for Litigants in Person, Judges and local practitioners

Leeds Law Society has compiled a directory of local experts and support organisations to be used by local practitioners, Judges and litigants in person when needing support and resource in family cases. This directory will include contact details, charges and funding arrangements, lead, process and report times for all local organisations with whom family case parties are regularly ordered to work. This will include organisations who provide supported and supervised contact, alcohol and drug misuse, testing and rehabilitation, family therapy and mediation, anger management therapy, and advocacy services.

Please see the list on the right for list of documents which can be downloaded.

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