News and reports

 

Support Through Court News

Read our March 2020 Newsletter here.

Read our past newsletters and press releases here. 

News, Updates and Press Releases 

Best Legal Support Volunteers 2020 – England and Wales (SME News Awards) - Support Through Court have been awarded 'Best Legal Support Volunteers 2020, England & Wales'. Our volunteers provide invaluable support to vulnerable individuals across England & Wales and have been recognised for all of their hard work. Well done to everyone has volunteered with us, and thank you. 

Civil Justice Council proposes better assistance for vulnerable witnesses (20th February 2020) - The Civil Justice Council published its final report on problems that vulnerable witnesses and other parties face in civil courts. The Council highlighted Support Through Court's strong backing from members of the Judiciary and commended the work of the Litigant in Person Support Strategy. The Council also recommended that the Ministry of Justice increase its financial support to Litigants in Person (including to Support Through Court and other key charities).

Digital form quicker and easier for separated parents applying to see children (19th February 2020) - HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) have launched a new online service to make it quicker and easier for separated parents to apply to see their children. See the press release here.

Judge begs for donations to ease family courts crisis (9th February 2020) - Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division for England and Wales, in a recent speech gave recognition to the importance of our volunteers in the Family Courts. Our volunteers' support has gained further recognition from The Sunday Times (behind paywall).

Reports

We do a variety of work to influence improvements to the court service for litigants in person including submitting policy papers, and conducting regular small-scale ‘spot surveys’ of clients on topical issues.

Whiplash brief - An argument to postpone implementation of reforms
The Government is planning to introduce reforms to ‘whiplash’ claims which will result in an increase in the threshold for small claims and set a fixed tariff compensation that reduces the level of damages that can be claimed. These changes will prevent more injured people from recovering their legal costs, and make it less likely for those in ‘whiplash’ claims to be able to afford legal advice.

Online Courts - an LiP perspective
The over-riding message is that the main barriers to using online court services are more about the legal system than about online access per se: people find the system complex and are fearful of making mistakes when the outcomes can have a significant impact on their lives. There is a sense that many people could use online court processes, but the vast majority clearly want a back-up mechanism for reassurance before they would feel truly confident.

Legal Language and its impact on Litigants in Person
This report summarises the findings from the 2017 survey on use of language in the court process.