‘Litigant in person’ back as judges U-turn on terminology
Unrepresented litigants should be referred to as ‘litigants in person’ (LiPs) rather than ‘self-represented litigants’ in all criminal, family and civil courts, the master of the rolls has directed in practice guidance.
Lord Dyson’s decision changes a recommendation by the Civil Justice Council last November suggesting that individuals who conduct legal proceedings on their own behalf should be referred to as self-represented litigants (SRL).
Dyson (pictured) said that the term SRL had gained some currency, but LiP continued to be used. He said: ‘The use of two terms to refer to the same thing is less than ideal. It is confusing both for individual litigants and the courts.’
The Judges’ Council, including the lord chief justice and president of the family division, authorised Dyson to issue guidance to ‘promote clarity, certainty and simplicity’ on the term to be used in future.
Dyson said: ‘I have considered all the circumstances, including the fact that the term LiP is used in statute (for example, The Litigants in Person (Costs and Expenses) Act 1975); is and will continue to be used by government; is commonly understood and well-known both by the legal profession and individuals generally.’
In contrast, Dyson said the term SRL is ‘unclear in its scope’, as it can variously be understood to suggest that individuals are conducting the entirety of legal proceedings on their own behalf, that they are only conducting court advocacy on their own behalf or, that they have themselves obtained the representation.
He said: ‘In the light of these factors I have therefore determined, with the unanimous agreement of the Judges’ Council, that the term SRL should not be adopted or used in future.
‘The term “litigant in person” should continue to be the sole term used to describe individuals who exercise their right to conduct legal proceedings on their own behalf,’ he said.
- Mass meeting of barristers takes a stand on QASA
- PI firm turns to fixed-price mediation for post-Jackson world
- Grayling asks for quality standard for PCT firms
- 7,000 lawyers to hit the streets for free legal advice
- French revolution
- Pilot aims to limit clinical negligence solicitors’ fees
- Will-writing could still be regulated
- In-house growth accelerating
- Appeal Court applies Russian law in dispute
- Insurers to revamp third-party code
- Court interpreters reject new contract deal
- European data plan labelled ‘demented’
- Saudi Arabia accepts registration of female lawyer
- Don’t worry about Jackson fallout – judge
- North-west PI paralegal initiative
- Criminal legal aid cuts to reach £370m
- SRA’s popularity slips
- Traffic courts to be set up
- Economy 'testing access to justice'
- MoJ plans crackdown on ‘so-called’ experts
- Midlands ABS issues ‘join us’ offer to insurers
- Law Society Excellence Awards now open for nomination
- Desperate PI firms breaking referral fee ban – AXA chief
- Jurors ‘confused’ on new media contempt
- End-to-end negligence defence practice sets up as ABS