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26/03/2017

The Cost of Justice without Lawyers

Presenting your case at Court as a  Litigant in Person is not easy.

The massive increase in the number of Litigants in Person however has put considerable strain on the Courts as well.

Evidence from Judges and Court staff indicate that there has been a huge increase in the number of people finding themselves in this situation since the massive cuts to Legal Aid in 2013. Most courts and tribunals do not record this information, except for the family courts. The Family Court data indicates that  80% of cases involve at least one unrepresented party since 2013 and in the year following the cuts there had been a 30% increase in the number of cases where both parties are unrepresented.

This places a huge administrative burden on the Court system already reeling from court closures, job cuts and a £249 million reduction in funding.  In a study by the National Audit Organisation in 2014 it was found that in relation to the increased number of Litigants in Person at the Family Court alone the additional cost incurred by the Court amounted to £3.4 million a year. This was in addition to the £2 million (over 2 years) of funding specifically set aside to help Litigants in Person.

 

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