Be welcoming to litigants in person, Judges told

March 7, 2018 4 comments

litigants in person

Judges must treat unrepresented litigants in person fairly and not class them as a problem to be resented, a new guidebook has stressed. The latest edition of the Equal Treatment Bench Book, published by the Judicial College, provides detailed guidance on a wide range of social issues, outlining the ways in which the representatives of…

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Home Secretary outlines new domestic abuse measures

February 27, 2018 3 comments

domestic violence

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has outlined new measures designed to tackle domestic violence and abuse. Under the proposals, alleged victims would be entitled to special protections in court, including giving their evidence behind screens. They would also acquire a legal status similar to victims of slavery and sexual abuse. The proposals form part of a…

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A personal review of the year, part 3

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December 22, 2017 1 comment

family law

This concludes my personal review of 2017. (The first two parts, covering January to August, can be found here and here). September: disruptive In a sign both of the times and of the enormous responsibilities placed upon our family courts, a headline in The Telegraph on the 7 September read: “Returning jihadis will end up…

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A personal review of the year, part 1

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December 20, 2017 3 comments

family law

In a (probably futile) attempt to make the traditional annual review of the year a little bit different, this year I am concentrating not so much on the big family law news stories, but rather the stories that I found of particular interest. Hopefully, this might make the review a little more interesting to the…

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Magistrates rue family law legal aid cuts

December 18, 2017 1 comment

family law

More than two thirds of the parties involved in family court cases are now unrepresented, magistrates report. In an analysis of recent family disputes heard in members’ courts by the Magistrates Association, 68 per cent of the participants were identified as unrepresented litigants in person: an increase of no less than 27 per cent in…

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Inequality of arms in a post-legal aid world

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December 13, 2017 7 comments

family law

I nearly deleted the email. Greeted with it in my inbox early last Saturday morning, my still sleepy brain couldn’t initially make sense of it. It seemed to be just another spam email from some stranger, of the type that I receive all the time, and I automatically hovered over the ‘trash’ button. But then…

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Could robot lawyers help you divorce?

November 2, 2017 3 comments

family law

As artificial intelligence (AI) improves by leaps and bounds, more and more jobs traditionally done by humans appear to be at risk. The number of self-service checkouts in supermarkets and fast food restaurants is on the rise, deliveries are being done by drone and manufacturing is becoming increasingly robot-friendly. It doesn’t stop there. If a…

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