Party litigants literature review published

Dec 11, 2014

A systematic review of court rules on lay representation in Scotland is to be carried out following a report into the problems faced by party litigants.   

The Scottish Civil Justice Council (SCJC) Access to Justice Committee has published a literature review on party litigants and the support available to them; and discusses the difficulties encountered by them.    

The paper considers relevant research, looks at recent developments in other jurisdictions and examines the guidance, advice and support that is presently available in Scotland. 

In 2009, the Scottish Civil Courts Review (SCCR) reported that there had been significant growth in the number of party litigants appearing in the courts of Scotland and recommended that there should be changes to court practice and procedure so that party litigants could “enter and navigate their way through the court process effectively”.   

It was considered that “public legal education, self-help services, in-court advice services and lay representatives and McKenzie friends” would all have a role to play in supporting the party litigant.   

The SCJC Access to Justice Committee’s paper focuses on the current state of public legal education, self-help services and advice and representation services available, as well as judicial case management.   

This topic will be one of the committee’s earliest priorities. 

The full report is available here.

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