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Family business | The government’s self-help approach to family justice is misguided

A rising trend in the appearance of litigants in person signals a need for legal resources to be more widely available to the general public. But the government are failing to provide it, Marilyn Stowe argues

18 January 2013

Earlier this month, my latest family law book hit the online shelves. It is my first book in nearly ten years, but why now? Let’s put it this way: there is a reason why the book includes worksheets and checklists. And there is a reason why it is available on e-readers for less than £1 (with all royalties going to the Children’s Society), so that as many people as possible can access its contents. That reason? ?People are now more desperate than ?ever for family law information, guidance and support.

In all the time that I have been practising family law, I have never known a time like this. When I started 30 years ago, all my clients had access to a lawyer. The poorest paid nothing, because legal aid was free. 'Mid-range' clients were still able to secure legal aid, but made contributions. Everybody had access to a lawyer and therefore everybody had access to family law, which was designed to be admi...

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