A non-partisan study published by parliament has added to the body of evidence attributing the rising number of litigants in person (LiPs) to cuts to legal aid.
A briefing paper produced by the House of Commons library research service includes details of a study into the experiences and support needs of LIPs in private family cases that was carried out for the Ministry of Justice in five courts, including a detailed analysis of 151 cases.
It found that appearing in person was wholly or partially a matter of choice for only one-quarter of LiPs.
Meanwhile, LiPs were no more likely to bring unmeritorious and serial applications than represented parties. Around half of those observed had one or more vulnerabilities, making it more difficult or, in some cases impossible, for them to represent themselves.