The UK Legal System
While most people expect that the Courts in England and Wales have been set up to deliver justice, the truth is far from it. They are set up to serve the legal industry and bring in fees to support the UK government.
The Courts do not deliver justice; the Courts deliver an interpretation of the Rules and Procedures as issued by the Parliament and apply the legal precedents established by the Court of Appeal and or the Supreme Court. If irregularities are to be found with the existing laws as stated in the Rules and Procedures, the Courts are not permitted to substitute their own views to make changes or amendments to the existing law. The Courts are required to send the case to the Supreme Court where new law must be made to provide the correct interpretation of the law so that Human Rights are not breached in a democracy. Reference to the Parliament will have to follow, if necessary, to amend or update the Rules and Procedures which must be in line with the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights.
To date and in academic terms no law in England and Wales must breach the Human Rights Act 1998. In practice, the law is broken all the times as interpretation of the law by the Judges varies. It all depends if the Judges likes you and what you stand for.
The UK Government is seeking to repel the Human Rights Act 1998.
In practical terms, many Judges at all levels of Courts take it upon themselves to mislead Litigants in Person as to the functions and purpose of the Courts. They may intentionally breach procedure and engage a Litigant in Person in the litigation process thus forfeiting their Article 6 (right to a fair trial). Many Judges change the law for Litigants in Person and put costs on Litigants in Person so as to intimidate and stop them from putting pressure on the Court to follow procedure and fulfil the duties imposed onto the Courts.
Judges respond in a more fair way to Barristers as they fill the pressure and responsibilities to perform they judicial duties as they are aware that a legal representative cannot be fooled or taken advantage of and also out of fear that their reputation as a Judiciary will be tarnished by another legal professional and their chances to be promoted to the next judicial level will be slowed down or never to happen.
Obedience of the law by the Judges when Barristers are involved in a case is only carried out of fear as these legal professionals, who by themselves or through their chambers, also act as referees for the appointment of Judges.
Litigants in Person do not impose any fear and receive no respect from the Judges as they offer nothing in return to the Judges other than the generalised view that Litigants in Person clog the system, which has been an initiated view by the legal professionals to discourage people to act as Litigants in Person.
Who brings cases in Her Majesty’s Courts?
- Solicitors (private firms) who are represented in court by hired Barristers
- Litigants in Person
- Crown Prosecution Services on behalf of the Attorney General
- Government Legal Department (former Treasury Solicitor Department) on behalf of the central Government
What are Her Majesty’s Courts?
The Royal Courts of Justice, the County Court, the Family Court, the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Courts.
These courts are administered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS).
What are the fees payable to Her Majesty’s Courts?
The fees increase every year and they vary. The fees are payable to the Government via Ministry of Justice.
There is NO financial help for producing the photocopies and bundles for court documents as required by the Courts to hear the case. Such costs can run into hundreds to thousands of pounds as the court can request multiple bundles to be filed for a case. Quite a few Litigants in Person are discouraged by the court procedure and process due to a lack of financial inability to produce the vast amount of hard copies of documents although they are excepted from paying the court fee. The system is not sufficiently balanced to allow for access to justice.
Who reports the cases heard in Her Majesty’s Courts?
Journalists who sit at the Royal Court of Justice in the room at the rear of the main hall numbered M.O.13. This room is supplied free of charge for the use of any visiting members of the press who may wish to use it. However, there is a dedicated ante room within this location which is leased to the Press Association numberd M.O.13A and it is therefore for their sole use on a day to day basis. No journalist working within either of these rooms is paid by the Ministry of Justice or any other Government department. The people who use the room are independent of HMCTS and their management hierarchy is not known.
It is no wonder why the public does not hear any Litigant in Person successful stories, even a few as they are, from these journalists or Press who conduct themselves more as a public relations department for the Royal Courts of Justice and other courts of Her Majesty’s Courts. They choose to promote only the judgments against Litigants in Person to create a positive image for the court and legal professionals. We know that positive stories involving Litigants in Person exist because we assisted our clients, Litigants in Person, who had their cases sent back to the lower court for reconsideration. The Press was not interested, although it was invited to report before the court made its decision. This could have been proof to the public that a Litigant in Person actually succeeded in overturning a decision of a lower court Judge. However, such successful stories remain unreported by the Press sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice.
What is access to justice?
Every year The London Legal Support Trust raises funds through networking activities and fundraising.
…The London Legal Support Trust is an independent charity that raises funds for free legal services in London & the South East…..support the provision of specialist legal advice through law centres, advice agencies and citizens advice bureaux by providing them with grant funding alongside other forms of support…raise funds from fundraising events, including the London Legal Walk….ad hoc donations from law firms and chambers…..offer …knowledge, contacts and experience of the sector to help agencies become more sustainable.
In practice, Litigants in Person with open or on-going cases in courts have:
- – difficulty obtaining free advice from legal advice centres for complex matters;
- – difficulty in connecting with law firms as put forward by the legal advice centres as the contact sheet of law firms provided, although lengthy, incorporates outdated contact information; and
- – difficulty navigating the complex legal system after only a brief meeting which is restricted to two meetings only per case.
The mysteries of Pro-Bono support:
- – the title can be very misleading to Litigants in Person;
- – the title implies free legal support; however, no one is able to obtain pro-bono support unless the court directs it or if one directly knows someone at the legal advice centre, or a solicitor/barrister/government authority, who can put forward the case to a solicitor to certify that the case is suitable for pro-bono;
- – even if one gets pro-bono support, the barrister’s level of attention to the case is very minimal as the barrister will accept the documents only the day before the hearing and will hold a meeting with the Litigant in Person only one hour before the hearing; and
- – the barrister is most likely to apologies profusely to the court for not having sufficient time to go through the case which leads to loosing the case as the court infers, most often, that the case was not worthy from the beginning but a good effort was put in by the barrister (as the hours for the charity were fulfilled).
When the UK legal system lets down its own people, we are here to help as we have a large data of international legal professionals who follow us and frequently challenge us with issues to discover and report back to the public. We are going through a remarkable experience worth noted and recorded, as one day it will be part of history, as we unveil the real UK legal system and what we are faced with, as Litigants in Person in a democratic country.
The UK legal system is 100 years behind our current time. Somehow, we have to find a way to coexist with the old, inflexible, favouritism based principle, and succeed to allow democracy to exist on the terms as defined today.