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The litigant in person’s tale: despair and dysfunction in the civil justice system of England and Wales

Pywell, Stephanie (2019). The litigant in person’s tale: despair and dysfunction in the civil justice system of England and Wales. Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education, 13(1) (In Press).

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Abstract

There is a dearth of academic literature and evidence about litigants in person (LiPs), despite their growing numbers. This article is an account of the seven months during which I was an LiP in a low-value breach-of-contract case, interspersed with reflections on the emotional impact of that experience. I hope that, by raising awareness of how LiPs are treated, and proposing some further research, the article may contribute to improving the experiences of future LiPs. Despite my extensive legal education, I found the situation enormously draining, and it resulted in one of the longest periods of stress that I have ever experienced. The intransigence of the defendant company and its legal representative paled into insignificance beside the incompetence of HM Courts and Tribunals Service and the incomprehensibility of official forms and processes. Change is urgently needed if LiPs are not to be denied access to civil justice.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1476-0401
Keywords: litigant in person; civil court system; small claims track
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Law
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 57108
Depositing User: Stephanie Pywell
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 08:01
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 21:41
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/57108
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