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Unrepresented litigants have not caused delays, government claims

The increasing number of unrepresented ‘litigants in person’ have not significantly delayed family court hearings, a new report claims.

According to a statistics bulletin from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the estimated duration of hearings in which neither party has legal representation has actually gone down in comparison to cases in which both parties have lawyers. The finding applies to private law disputes, i.e. disputes between individuals which do not involve the state.

The claim is based on a comparison of cases completed within 12 weeks which began between April 2012 and March 2013 with those which began between April last year and March this year.

The average length of hearings in which neither party was represented decreased, the report claims, from 300 minutes in the year to 2013, down to 180 minutes in the year to March 2014.

Authors of the report have, however, stressed that the findings of the report are based on averages rather than actual hearing durations.

Barristers have criticised the newly published report on Twitter, describing the report as “flawed”, based on unreliable data. and sending out “an unhelpful message”.

Read the report here.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that the government is still to publish a report on litigants in person more than a year after receiving its main findings.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. George Statingfield says:

    The report actually says that Lawyers have ‘increased’ the length of hearings.

    It says that unrepresented LIPs have ‘decreased’ the length of hearings.

    This is because Lawyers like to spend a lot of time in Court, I wonder why?

    • Carol Bird says:

      Lawyers not only increase the time within the courts, they rely on fabricated ‘Evidence’ not only to prolong, but to fabricate a case against innocent parents/Grandparents, that should never had reached any court in the first place, ending in the worse case scenario for any parent/grandparent to ever have to endure, including a lifetime of vengeful attacks from the guilty Local Authority Agencies involved
      How do they do this, they change the childs birth certified name to a name the child has never been known as, making all court orders made within the case, absolutely useless for parents/grandparents to gain evidence that blows their case wide open
      Recently stated in (closed court) to question,: Why was my grandsons name changed to Christian name, followed by Fathers surname, Followed by Mothers surname
      What allows them to do this, stated in Court TO IDENTIFY THE PARENTS OF THE CHILD WERE NOT MARRIED??????????????????????????????????????

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