Barriers to Participation for Litigants in Person in Remote Court Hearings

8 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020

Date Written: May 21, 2020


In response to the significant changes in the operation of the civil justice system necessitated by COVID-19, particularly the swift expansion of the use of remote hearings, the Civil Justice Council issued a rapid consultation on The impact of COVID-19 measures on the civil justice system. Included within the call for responses was a particular plea for evidence relating to how Litigants in Person (LIPs) were experiencing remote hearings. Research at Ulster University (pre-Covid-19) has been examining how LIPs participate in court processes, particularly in the court hearings, to help identify the points at which the LIP’s right to effective participation under Article 6 ECHR could be at risk. This blog post – the content of which has been submitted to the Council’s consultation – reviews our findings, based on face to face hearings, to help determine what ‘effective participation’ should involve, whether via remote or face to face hearings. The content is posted here to help identify the issues to be considered in evaluating how successful remote hearings might be in protecting the LIP’s right to effective participation.

Keywords: litigants in person, remote hearings, COVID-19, participation, civil justice, family justice

Suggested Citation

McKeever, Gráinne, Barriers to Participation for Litigants in Person in Remote Court Hearings (May 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Gráinne McKeever (Contact Author)

Ulster University at Jordanstown ( email )

County Antrim BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland
United Kingdom
+44 (0)28 9036 6340 (Phone)

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