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Ethical Issues For Lawyers Dealing With Unrep Litigants
The growth in numbers of self-represented litigants has been widely documented and discussed both in Australia and internationally. There are many reasons why litigants may not have representation, and there are many labels used to describe those who appear unrepresented, but this growing class of litigant is not a homogenous one. The topic has attracted a good deal of judicial comment in the context of the role of the judicial officer where there is an unrepresented litigant, but the role of the lawyer faced with an unrepresented opponent has been largely ignored. The ever-growing number of actions instigated in a range of courts by unrepresented litigants raises particular ethical considerations for both barristers and solicitors. This presentation will examine the various ethical issues that may arise in situations where lawyers must deal directly with litigants who do not have legal representation.
Rachel Spencer University of South Australia
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