Dealing with Self Represented Litigants

Ethics and Professional Responsibility

CPD Points 0.5


As the economy slows and cuts to legal aid bite, practitioners are now increasingly more likely to face self represented litigants. This course provides strategies for handling the unique ethical and practical challenges which self represented litigants pose.

The number of self represented litigants (SRLs) appearing in courts and tribunals is growing. Practitioners from all areas of practice are now increasingly likely to be retained in a matter against an SRL. It follows that all practitioners should develop some understanding of the unique difficulties that arise in matters involving SRLs and how they can best manage these difficulties.

This course provides guidance for practitioners in dealing with SRLs. The course discusses:

  • the rights of an SRL or lay advocate to appear in proceedings;
  • the duties of the court to assist SRLs;
  • the ethical duties of legal practitioners dealing with SRLs; and
  • practical guidance on how practitioners and the courts can deal with SRLs.

Last Reviewed: March 2022

Author Profile

LawCPD Author: Dr Michelle Sharpe

Dr. Michelle Sharpe

Dr. Michelle Sharpe is a member of the Victorian Bar practicing in general commercial, consumer protection law and administrative law.

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What Lawyers Say

  1. 5.0/5
    Informative Course
    Easy to understand, well-paced, and not too much information.
    - A. Macdonald , Solicitor
  2. 4.0/5
    Comprehensive summary of the challenges, requirements and recommendations.
    - S. Sorgiovanni, Solicitor
  3. 4.0/5
    Clear overview
    This was a clear and succinct overview of the law in relation to self-represented litigants in a variety of jurisdictions, along with a good consideration of their psychological background.