Litigants in Person: making the best of a bad job

The Civil Justice Council Working Party on Self-Represented Litigants has reported.  It’s an excellent report, contains a range of potential improvements to the way courts and judges work with litigants in person, whilst not pulling its punches on the potential impact of legal aid cuts.  An excellent early post on it by Adam Wagner is contained here.  Whilst the report’s recommendations are offered on the basis that the cost of changes will not be material, it will require an enormous effort of coordination and, in particular, judicial leadership.  We will see what happens.  There are also moments of more radical thinking, not yet fully developed but which hint at the next phase of the debate.  I draw readers’ attention to this passage in particular:

Some will argue that the challenge is to make the system we have better. Others would argue towards a different system, at least in some areas. There is not necessarily a bright line between the two, and the choice is not necessarily an “either or” choice.  The Chairman of the Administrative Justice & Tribunals Council has recently argued that:

“accessible, fair and efficient dispute resolution” means:“that one size cannot fit all, … we need much more of a horses for courses approach,  more flexibility, more triage, more choice for individuals, more allocation to different  types of dispute resolution according to different types of people, different types of  case, different types of circumstances…”

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