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What will closing courts mean for litigants?

The government's proposal to cut down the number of courts will simply limit access to justice and add to the financial burden of litigation, argues Russell Conway

21 July 2015

The government’s consultation paper on the operation of courts and tribunals, which was published on 16 July 2015, makes a case for closing 91 courts throughout England and Wales. So, what does this mean for the man in the street?

Well, courts have always been regarded with some suspicion and a degree of fear. Clients frequently say, ‘We won’t have to go to court, will we?’ But if issues are to be tried, and evidence given and cross-examined, they will have to attend.

Many of those attending the courts will not be represented. The costs involved in litigation have never been cheap and the prospect of being a litigant in person, while daunting, is in many cases unavoidable. With the recent legal aid cuts, many litigants are simply out of scope or ineligible for assistance. They will have to make the lonely trudge to court and do the best they can, albeit without ...

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