If you are involved in a court case as an individual, you have the right to engage the services of a lawyer or represent yourself in court. While this is your personal choice, it is an important decision you should make after considering the pros and cons of each option.
When you represent yourself in court, you handle the court proceedings and applications without a lawyer. You will often be referred to as a litigant-in-person (LIP).
As an LIP, you will be held to the same standard as lawyers. The court is not expected to relax its procedural rules and standards for you. This means that you must:
You should consider representing yourself only if you are confident of:
Otherwise, you may wish to consider engaging a lawyer or speak to one to help you better decide if you wish to represent yourself or to be represented by a lawyer.
You have the right to obtain legal advice, seek legal assistance or engage a lawyer to represent you in court.
The courts cannot provide legal advice. Find out more about the legal resources and legal assistance schemes available for criminal, civil and family cases.