Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Litigants in person: unrepresented litigants in first instance proceedings

Moorhead, Richard Lewis and Sefton, Mark 2005. Litigants in person: unrepresented litigants in first instance proceedings. [Discussion Paper]. DCA Research Series 2/05, Department for Constitutional Affairs. Available at:

PDF - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


This study seeks to define the different ways in which unrepresented litigants manifest themselves within proceedings, and explore the difficulties posed to unrepresented litigants, court staff, judges and opponents. The report explores detailed quantitative and qualitative data on unrepresented litigants in first instance civil and family cases, excluding small claims. It finds that unrepresented parties are common, and more likely to be defendants. In civil cases in particular, there is a strong link between non-representation and non-participation. Parties go unrepresented for a range of reasons, including inability to afford representation. Problems faced by unrepresented litigants demonstrate struggles with substantive law and procedure. The boundary between the provision of information and advice by court staff also presents problems. Both court staff and judges perceived that improvements can be made in the way that unrepresented litigants are handled, including improvement to court-based services providing greater assistance.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Publisher: Department for Constitutional Affairs
ISBN: 1840990589
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2017 12:49

Citation Data

Cited 16 times in Google Scholar. View in Google Scholar

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics