The number of individuals (Self-represented litigants) fighting their own cases in courts and tribunals is growing. Any litigation is full of pitfalls but these are known to those used to the legal system. Self-representation is particularly problematic since such litigants cannot be expected to know all the complexities of the law and procedure. One example is COSTS. Lose the case and costs follow against you like night follows day. Many do not realise this and, even if they do, most have little knowledge of the amounts involved. The sums can be considerable and sometimes devastating for all but the very wealthy.
In an earlier post I argued that rights without access to justice can hardly be described as rights at all. Sadly, in our country, lack of access to justice has worsened. Most people simply cannot afford the financial risk of seeking to either determine or enforce their legal position. If they cannot afford to enforce their rights then those rights are effectively worthless. The rich, the powerful and the unscrupulous hold sway.
The Justice [ ] Gap blog has an excellent post on this topic which I have no hesitation in recommending -The Perils of DIY Law: The high price of Justice - Daniel Hoadley 26th September 2012. This is a sad and cautionary tale. Please read it.