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'Increasing' problem of people in court without lawyers

The Royal Courts of Justice in central London. Credit: PA

A rise in the number of people representing themselves in person at Court of Appeal hearings is posing an "increasing problem", a leading judge has warned.

Lady Justice Black - who sits in the Court of Appeal - said the task facing judges was "infinitely more difficult" when people were not represented by lawyers.

She has raised concerns in the wake of warnings from lawyers that Government cuts in legal aid provision would lead to a rise in the numbers of litigants in person and pose problems.

A year ago Maura McGowan QC, then chairman of the Bar, said savings resulting from cuts might pale against an increase in court costs because cases featuring litigants in person would last longer.