The Litigant in Person Network

About

The Litigant in Person Network is an online platform which aims to connect a wide range of people with a common goal of improving access to justice. Coordinated by the Litigant in Person Support Strategy, and supported by The Legal Education Foundation, the Network is a place for you to share, discuss and collaborate across sectors. 

Access to free legal advice and representation is getting more and more difficult, having a disproportionately high impact on vulnerable people who may lose their home, income or contact with their family as a result of not being able to access the right support. Recent research has shown that the problem is getting worse, with 80% of private family cases having at least one party unrepresented1. 

At the same time, innovation and progress in access to justice is happening everywhere. Until now, there has been no central, online platform where a wide range of interested professionals can share information. There is consequently a risk that developments and resources are being missed, leading to duplication or gaps.

In March 2017, the Litigant in Person Network was launched to connect those with a common goal of improving access to justice. The website was developed after a 3-month consultancy with a wide range of stakeholders, resulting in a Network that was built not just for, but by its members.

The website forms a central platform for members to find out about projects, resources, research and other content relating to access to legal advice and the legal system. The material is written both by the Network and by our team on behalf of the Network.

Who is the Network for?

The Network doesn’t represent a single voice. We are a cross-sector group of professionals (rather than Litigants in Persons themselves) and including members of the advice sector, legal professionals, academics, the judiciary, court and tribunal staff.

The term ‘Litigant in person’ is employed in a broad sense and the project is aimed at those with a common goal of improving access to justice for those without means.

 

What is our Vision?

The Network’s long-term vision is for actual and potential Litigants in Person to experience better support to manage their way through the legal system. We believe that through cross-sector networking, collaboration and shared and creative thinking, the Network will be stronger and more effective in meeting the needs of vulnerable people. Our aims are:
  1. To increase the availability of free legal advice and representation to vulnerable people 
  2. To increase the availability of legal support services available to vulnerable people
  3. To broaden the provision of public legal education
  Our objectives are:
  1. To increase funding for the advice and pro bono sector to ensure we meet the needs of our beneficiaries, to include local and regional fundraising 
  2. To improve the effectiveness of grant making to both local and national organisations within the sector
  3. To support the sector by providing leadership and encouraging collaboration