Family Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 12th July 2021.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support his Department provides to litigants when filling forms as part of complex family law proceedings.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Access to justice is a fundamental right and the Government is committed to ensuring that everyone can get the support they need to access the justice system across England and Wales.

Litigants can get access to accessible versions of all HM Courts and Tribunals forms. If a litigant has a disability, then they can have dictation support to complete forms by HM Courts and Tribunals staff (as a reasonable adjustment).

HM Courts and Tribunals Service has a Memorandum of Understanding with Support Through Court, who offer practical and emotional support to litigants in person. This memorandum is supported by senior judiciary. Support Through Court is based at 16 courts locations in England and Wales, also offering a national helpline.

In April 2020 we launched the new, two-year, £3.1m Legal Support for Litigants in Person Grant, which is designed to fund services provided at local, regional and national levels with the aim of understanding more about how they can combine to help people. This new grant funding is in addition to the more than £9m that the Ministry of Justice has invested in support for litigants in person since 2015 through our existing Litigants in Person Support Strategy.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service reform programme is improving the practice and administration of the family justice system by making the system easier to understand and navigate so that it better meets the needs of users.

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