Inequality

Justice is not possible without equality   

Improving access to the profession would improve access to justice.  Currently the legal profession is not representative of society.  See recent paper on improving access to justice. This situation requires action by all stakeholders, including law firms, chambers, The Law Society, The Bar Council / Bar Standards Board, and the Inns of Court.

Statistics show that:

·       Inequality globally is very high and increasing with in 2016, 8 richest people having as much wealth as half of the world, 3.6 billion people (see Oxfam studies).

·       Inequality presents danger for society and individuals. It was voted at the World Economic Forum 2016 as the largest global risk in the next 10 years. Inequality can also affect our genes / genetic code: see recent paper  GENES AND GINI: WHAT INEQUALITY MEANS FOR HERITABILITY.

Litigants in person face powerful barriers to access to justice

A recent paper ‘Unrepresented Litigants in Modern Courts – Ordeal by Combat‘ shows barriers litigants in person face in litigation / disputes.  The greater proportion of the population are unable to afford the justice system, and this greater proportion face a number of barriers such as: the laws being unnecessarily complex; there being numerous unnecessary court formalities, which create a mount of barriers to access to justice for the unrepresented / self-represented; and litigants in person being often viewed as the cause of the problem, as vexatious litigants as opposed to people who are unable to access the justice system.

Quotes on inequality / equality

“Without access there is no justice“
― Mr Justice Knowles at the UKLSA’s 5th Annual National Equalities Conference.

“Equality (in access to justice) is the heart of justice“
― Fatos Selita at the UKLSA’s 5th Annual National Equalities Conference.

“At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.”
― Aristotle

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. “
― Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).

“The love of justice in most men is simply the fear of suffering injustice”
― François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613)

Courses on law and realities of the legal profession – subsidised for UKLSA members

A one-day course examining the law and the legal system in practice, with a particular focus on existing barriers to achieving justice; and covering organisational, structural, psychological, sociological and other factors that are relevant justice.

A one-week course combining key knowledge about English law and procedure; English legal systems in practice; and successful navigation of the legal system to access justice.

Research projects

Access to justice  We are currently conducting research on access to justice.

Realities for litigants in person  We are assessing the realities for litigants in person, and invite all litigant in person to share with us their experience in court.

Please email: secretary@uklsa.co.uk

What is access?

Do we have access to justice if courts fees are unaffordable?

Do we have access to justice if courts are not public friendly e.i. courts expecting the unrepresented to comply with complex procedures, complex bundling and complex paperwork?

Do we have access to justice if chances of winning are reduced for the unrepresented, thus increasing chances of them having to pay legal costs?