THE JUDICIAL Working Group on Litigants in Person: Report – advocating CONFIDENCE in JUDICIAL IMPARTIALITY

13 07 06 LiPs ReportThis 55-page report was sent by Jeff Lampert of Help4LiPs.

Constituted by the Master of the Rolls, the Working Group was formed in December 2012 following the expected rise in the number of litigants in person (LiPs) after the Legal Aid reforms in April 2013.

The contents covers:

Foreword

  1. Introduction
  2. Overview and executive summary
  3. Issues that arise when dealing with LiPs
  4. Training and guidance for the judiciary
  5. The rules
  6. McKenzie Friends and other lay assistants
  7. Vexatious litigants
  8. Conclusions and summary of recommendations

As always in these kinds of documents, the intentions are good and honourable:-

  • Access to justice is the constitutional right of every citizen.
  • The importance of a positive approach to litigants in person.

The question is: how will this ‘positive approach’ be implemented?

  • It’s like with the Law. It doesn’t need changing. It just needs to be followed!

Here are the recommendations:

  • The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) should
  1. produce appropriate materials to inform LiPs what is required of them and what they can expect when they go to court
  2. urgently review its web-based information.
  • Training and guidance: The Judicial College should  develop
  1. regard for LiPS as a much higher proportion of court and tribunal users in their training on practice, procedure and judge-craft
  2. a ‘LiPs toolkit’
  3. a central online resource – for staff and judiciary
  4. designated civil and family judges should ensure that judges know about locally available sources of advice and assistance for LiPs.

Recommendations regarding Procedural Rules:

  • a dedicated rule to modify other rules where LiPs are involved
  • if LiPs are involved, proceedings should be conducted by way of a more inquisitorial form of process [do they mean less adversarial when the two ‘opponents’ have a drink together afterwards anyway?]
  • introduce a new ‘direction’ or ‘rule’ to address the needs of LiPs.

“In light of the increased significance of the right of LiPs to call on lay persons for support”:

  • historic differences between practice in the court system and tribunals needs to be reviewed
  1. the right to reasonable assistance
  2. the right to conduct litigation
  3. the right to exercise rights of audience
  4. consideration of the terminology, including whether the term “McKenzie Friend” continues to be useful. [one wonders what’s wrong with that term. – Have we been too successful with our Public Interest Advocacy?]

Here’s what matters: The essentials of a claim

• The identification of a cause of action.
• The identification of the determinative issues.
  • This means who is going to decide about what?
• The identification and preparation of evidence (including, where appropriate, expert evidence) that is relevant to those issues.
  • Here the challenge is to pick and choose. What is most important?
• The preparation of documentation for the substantive hearing
  • This is the art of putting ‘bundles’ of documents together – with an index and good overviews – the real challenge for victims who are too emotionally involved.
• Conduct of the substantive hearing.
  • Thank god, the ‘right of audience’ is to be considered. The fact that it is currently up to the judge’s discretion whether to grant a McKenzie Friend audience or not is anything but ‘fair trial’ or ‘access to justice’. 
In the chapter on The role of the judge
  • the need for ‘case management’ is addressed.

But the overarching need for LiPs addressing issues with the legal profession and the judiciary is, of course, unknown to this Working Group.

However, they do note:

LiPs are more likely to complain about judges, usually on the basis, not of any substantive impropriety, but because they disagree with the findings and conclusions the judge has properly reached.
Well, how to challenge ‘properly reached’ conclusions is not part of this report…
Para 3.27 suggests:

It will thus be especially important after 1 April 2013 for judges to take the time to explain to LiPs the benefits of a good working relationship with opposing counsel, and for counsel to use their skills in helping to build those relationships.

LiPs’ Golden Rule, however, has been NOT to engage with the other party!

3.30 says:

The issue of appropriate judicial intervention and flexibility arises on

  • legal points,
  • procedural issues,
  • evidential and presentational matters.

That’s what LiPs have to learn. The Judicial College is meant to train ‘the system’. And who’s going to train the victims / LiPs?

Family proceedings address children (between partners and when Local Authorities step in) and finance (between divorcing partners).
Para 3.41 on page 16 actually mentions in a footnote that

“the best interests of children have to be ascertained (where necessary by seeking the views of the relevant children) and Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children! 

  • Any guess as to why this hasn’t been happening???
  • Any suggestion as to when this might begin to be happening???
  • The “need for a child to be represented” is NOT going to address the problem!

Do note para 3.49:

it is vital that HMCTS?MoJ direct work and resources towards ensuring LiPs have the information they need before they commence proceedings, before they are required to take any particular step in proceedings, and before they appear in front of a judge.

Para 5.12 mentions the Family Justice Modernisation Programme. Is that what’s going to ensure the revolution of hearts, minds and MORALITY that Gerald Celente called for on America’s Independence Day?

On the Role of McKenzie Friends:
 
Para 6.4 says [typical for the perspective of the Court rather than victims / LiPs / McKenzie Friends]:
Refusals are rare. How come that I have been refused 2 out of 3 times?
How come that Ian Josephs was refused on one of the occasions?
Paras 6.24 – 6.26 consider the different roles:
  1. sit quietly by and assist in court
  2. having right of audience
  3. having the right to conduct litigation
  4. seeking publicity and advertising [!!!???…].

Vexatious litigants [aka starfighters or ‘veteran victims': the founder of the Society of LiPs is 83 and has been in 37 years of proceedings!]

They are ‘legitimate users of the system’, but

often relentless applications, which are without any legal merit

frivolous / meritless claims.

Courts need to be vigilant; applications need to be dealt with robustly and swiftly. Action may include “totally without merit”.

87- year-old Norman Scarth writes  

‘TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT’ are the words which are increasingly being used against the LiP by judges, acting in breach of their judicial oaths. The judiciary not only control the courts, but think they OWN them, regarding the LiP as a trespasser, to be repulsed at all costs. They use the words as a weapon to defend their fortress, ESPECIALLY against a case which might bring discredit to what purport to be ‘the Forces of Law & Order’. The new words seems to have taken over from (& work better than) the words previously used by lawyers when facing a LiP: ‘This is frivolous, vexatious, an abuse of process of law’. 

Mr Ebert and Maurice Kirk are the other ‘veteran victims’ who would be called vexatious or frivolous by people who have not been victimised themselves.

About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician, software designer, system analyst, event organiser, independent web publisher and online promoter.
This entry was posted in McKenzie Friends, Ministry of Justice, Rule of Law, Rule of Money, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to THE JUDICIAL Working Group on Litigants in Person: Report – advocating CONFIDENCE in JUDICIAL IMPARTIALITY

  1. The children’s act took away our legal rights to be parents & gave us responsibilities instead. The children’s act does not give parents or grandparents a legal right to contact & nobody in our government or the family court system know how much contact a none resident parent needs to have with their children to ensure their long term relationship is sustainable despite the fact that there have been 7 family court inquiries since the children’s act was first introduced.

    A child’s “needs” cannot be optimally met by a single parent, however loving. Kruk’s findings show that a child must spend at least 40% of his time with a parent to establish and maintain a beneficial attachment.

    David Cameron doesn’t seem to care about what is in the best interests of children or he would of honored what the Conservatives pledged to do in their pre-election manifesto.

    http://www.ukfamilylawreform.co.uk/actiononfamilyjustice17thoctober2004.htm

    ACTION ON FAMILY JUSTICE

    On 17th October 2004 the Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for the Family, Theresa May, pledged to end the misery of the family courts. Unveiling a strategy for institutional change.

    • MIND THE GAP: between what they say and what they do, David!

      THANK YOU for your comment and link!

      Helas, it’s sooo bad that it’s really too much for each of us on our own. But we are united and connected and we do follow this Gandhi quote:

      First they ignore you,
      then they laugh at you,
      then they fight you,
      then you win.

      Onwards and upwards!
      Together!!!

      • JM says:

        Ghandi was another pansy who obviously never tried to buy life insurance….

        The only reason PTB allow those like him (Martin Luthor King being the other obvious example) to live is that it makes it easy for them to identify and spy on their freinds and the rest/ what comes after that…did you know that MI5 automatically opens a file on every ‘protestor’, and that came out in the 80s……gotten a lot worse since then……

        LONG LIVE THE FIGHTERS.

  2. JM says:

    more secret crap online then that they won’t even tell you about, not legally binding and can unilaterally vary whenever they like without bothering to tell you, that’s presuming you can afford to access it in the first place….

    still illegal to unilaterally vary any contract last i heard….it’s not really that difficult, one printed A4 page at most signed…..if it’s a really complex case mabe double sided page at most….with a signature.

  3. Ismail Abdulhai Bhamjee says:

    RE:- TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT?

    (1) SECTION 2 (6) TO (8) OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE ACT 1997 ON THE 9th July 2003 in the Court of Appeal Civil Division.
    DID LORD PHILLIPS, LORD JUSTICE DYSON AND LORD JUSTICE BROOKE HAD THE JURISDICTION POWER TO CHANGE THE LEGISLATION, AND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ZAMBIA?

    RE:- ANY JUDGE BEFORE ANY COURT AND TRIBUNAL IN THE UNITED KINGDOM HAVE NO JURISDICTION POWER TO REVOKE THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987 NO 764 AS AMENDED
    SI 1995 NO 297
    CLASS B1, B2, B8 STORAGE.

  4. Brad Meyer says:

    One of the things I noted with interest in the report was the observation and expectation that LiPs would be unaware of or misunderstand or even disrespect the importance of complying with CPR.

    The insights I have gleaned from very seasoned LiPs is that they generally strive to comply and are amazed and appalled at the profession’s apparent and sometimes selectively flagrant disregard for CPR.

    What I see happening in these situations is that “standard practice” in the profession evolves to tacitly accept procedural shortcuts (like people walking across a grassy square instead of staying on the sidewalk) and collectively “know” which shortcuts are going to be overlooked. The LiP, of course, does not.

    The ultimate interpretation of this experience by the LiP is that the profession play by a different set of rules than those published and so the field is uneven and access to justice is not balanced.

    It’s like having two entrances to the MoJ building – one for employees which is straightforward and one with extra procedural checks for visitors.

    Clarity for LiPs on the procedures AND the accepted shortcuts could perhaps make a difference.

    Dis-allowing shortcuts and voiding outcomes based on shortcuts could help re-balance things as well, in my humble lay person’s opinion.

    Brad

  5. jake says:

    just testing?

  6. jake says:

    more euphamisms, explanations excuses for what is obviously criminal behaviour…
    WHICH CPR’s are you referring to anyway?
    Crown prosecution rules
    civil procedure roles
    criminal procedure rules
    or any of the other variations….referred to by anonymous perps who refuse to confirm or deny if they knew who you are and nobody can actually acess anyway…..even if u have access they’re supposedly only available online anyway and can be unilaterally varied on a whim…without bothering to tell you (same clause in all financial contracts now)….THAT’s NOT LEGAL either as it totally defeats the point of having contracts when one side can unilaterally vary….
    but as you say all just a waste of time and perfectly good oxygen again as they dow hatever the fuck they like and the only way to get a name is to kill one apparently…..to see evidence that ‘person’ did actually exist never mind dead….? it’s all ridicuously absurd….

  7. Ismail Abdulhai Bhamjee says:

    THE STATUTORY INSTRUMENT 2013 NO 1725 (C.69)
    THE CRIME AND COURTS ACT 2013 (COMMENCEMENT No 3) Order 2013

    Section 61, Short Title, Commencement and Extent.
    Section 43 Use of Self-Defence at Place of Residence.

    Section 48 Civil Recovery of the Proceeds of Unlawful Conduct

    282A Scope of Powers

    (1) An Order under this Chapter may be made by the High Court in England and Wales or the Court of Session.

    There are many Divisions in the High Court of Justice.

    • jake says:

      if u cut and pasted that from somewhere…again it’s just random gibberish, not even proper constructed sentences….doesn’t actually mean anything?

      and allw ords do mean what words do actually mean, they dnt mean what they pretend them to mean without even bothring to tell you what they have redefined those words to mean

      statement of fact,not a delusion or anything else….

    • Trying to understand the hierarchy of courts is definitely a challenge. We need a ‘road map’.

      With thanks for your contribution, once again,
      S

      • jake says:

        it’s quite simple. biggest psycopath/ bully/ gang always wins.

        everything else is just window dressing. it’s called evolution/ survival of the fittest, not that i agree with it

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  11. Ismail Abdulhai Bhamjee says:

    RE:- VEXATIOUS LITIGANTS UNDER SECTION 42 OF THE SCA 1981 (AS AMENDED BY THE PROSECUTION OF OFFENCES ACT 1985
    _____________________________________________________________

    THE SENIOR COURTS ACT 1981-
    THIS ACT DOES HAVE MANY SECTIONS- WHILST THE SENIOR COURTS ACT 1981 DOESN’T APPLY TO ANY COUNTRY OUTSIDE THE UNITED KINGDOM.

    THE CIVIL JURISDICTION AND JUDGMENTS ACT 1982-
    ARTICLE 5. A PERSON CAN BE SUED

    A BARRISTER IS A PERSON
    A SOLICITOR IS A PERSON
    AN ADVOCATE IS A PERSON
    A LEGAL SECRETARY IS A PERSON
    A DIRECTOR IS A PERSON
    A LITIGANT IN PERSON IS A PERSON WHO REPRESENT’S HIMSELF WHILST THERE ARE TIME LIMITS ALSO-

    THE LIMITATION ACT 1980 SECTION 2, 6 AND 24-
    THE TIME LIMIT THERE IS A PERIOD OF SIX YEARS.

    THE ORDERS MADE UNDER SECTION 42 OF THE SENIOR COURTS ACT 1981 WITHOUT TIME LIMIT DOES ALSO BREACH ARTICLE 6 AND 13 OF THE CONVENTION TREATIES,

    IT IS NOT THE FUNCTION OF ANY ATTORNEY GENERAL TO MISAPPLY ANY PARLIAMENT ACT-
    THE COURTS AND LEGAL SERVICES ACT 1990 THIS CAME INTO FORCE IN THE YEAR 1990.
    SECTION 11- A COUNTY COURT CAN BAN ANY PERSON-

    SO WHY PLACE RESTRICTIONS ON ANY CITIZEN THAT HE/SHE SHOULD OBTAIN LEAVE OF A HIGH COURT JUDGE, WHEN A COUNTY COURT CIRCUIT JUDGE CAN EXERCISE THE POWERS OF THE HIGH COURT UNDER SECTION 38 (1) OF THE COUNTY COURTS ACT 1984 AND SECTION 119 OF THE EQUALITY ACT 2010.

    IF A PERSON IS CLAIMING LESS THAN £50,000-00 THAN HE/SHE OR THEY SHOULD MAKE THEIR APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION OF THE COURT BEFORE ANY CIRCUIT JUDGE OR CROWN COURT JUDGE.

    THERE IS ROUGH AND FRAUD JUSTICE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM-
    AS THE JUDGMENT GIVEN ON THE 9TH OCTOBER 2013
    CASE NUMBER CO/9316/2012
    THOMAS MATHEW APPLICANT
    VERSUS
    HER MAJESTY’S ATTORNEY GENERAL.

    THE CORONERS AND JUSTICE ACT 2009 WHICH HAS COME INTO FORCE-
    THERE IS THE MEANING OF Associated Person.

    Yours Faithfully

    Ismail Abdulhai Bhamjee.

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