Litigants in person in Northern Ireland: Barriers to legal participation - Final report

Research output: Other contribution


This report, funded by Nuffield, found that LIPs face intellectual, practical and emotional barriers to being able to participate in legal proceedings, and that these barriers could jeopardise their right to a fair trial under article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), which requires litigants to be able to participate effectively in legal proceedings. While these barriers exist for many litigants, the research identified an additional attitudinal barrier that LIPs face as a direct result of not having legal representation in court. The two main recommendations from the research were that there was a need for cultural change to ‘normalise’ the presence of LIPs in the court system and embed their perspective in reforms to the court process (to tackle attitudinal barriers) and a need for information materials to support LIPs, developed through user-focused design principles (to tackle intellectual, practical and emotional barriers).
Original languageEnglish
TypeResearch report
Number of pages355
Place of PublicationBelfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Sept 2018


  • Litigants in person; access to justice; fair trial


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