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Family Law

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15 AUG 2013

Territory skirmishes with DIY advocacy: a Dickensian misadventure

Kim Holt

Senior Lecturer (Barrister), Head of Division, Social Work and Social Care, School of Social and International Studies, University of Bradford

The prospect of the family court resembling a scene from the Pickwick Papers could be a reality in English Law from April 2013 when the courts thronged with individuals without legal advice or representation arrive to seek justice. The Dickensian novel published in 1837 provides a visual image of the potential chaos for litigants, lawyers and members of the judiciary who are chartering new territory with the inevitability of skirmishes for all parties involved in private family law. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 will introduce changes to legal aid that will have profound implications for the most vulnerable individuals who turn to a system when they are most in need and unable to resolve their disputes without the oversight of the court.

The full version of this article appears in the September 2013 issue of Family Law.   

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