In the Family Court yesterday Sir James Mumby expressed concern at the effect of cuts in Legal Aid, and the rise of cases where one or both parties are unrepresented and cannot afford to pay.
He identified three potential issues where public funding is not available. Parties will have no legal advice and help in preparing documents. They will lack any professional advocacy in the court and the cost of bringing to court any professional witness will be far beyond their means. As a result there is a real risk of injustice, particularly when one party is funded and the other is not.
He considered whether the court should consider funding directly litigants in this position. This is the first time a court has considered funding a litigant. He made clear, however, that such funding should only be considered in private law cases with serious allegations, having been referred to a High Court Judge and as a last resort.
by Jane Maton, Solicitor
Posted on Thursday, 7th August 2014