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“LiPs” not “SRLs” to be used in family, civil and criminal Courts

Master of the Rolls issues new Practice Guidance

Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, has issued Practice Guidance 'Terminology for Litigants in Person' directing that the term 'Litigant in Person' should be the sole term used to describe individuals who conduct legal proceedings on their own behalf.

The term 'self represented litigant' (SRL) should not be adopted or used in family, criminal or civil courts.

Use of the two terms could give rise to confusion for litigants and the courts.  The term 'litigant in person' is used in statute and will continue to be used by Government and is familiar to the legal profession and individuals generally. 'Self represented litigant' is 'unclear in its scope, as it can variously be understood to suggest that individuals are conducting the entirety of legal proceedings on their own behalf, that they are only conducting court advocacy on their own behalf or, that they have themselves obtained representation i.e., secured the service of an advocate.'