A Handbook for Litigants in Person (22 October 2013)
A guide to appearing in civil cases without legal representation: produced and published by the judiciary.
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.”
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