At SHU Law we aim to meet the needs of clients who, due to their personal circumstances and barriers put in place by society, may be vulnerable.
There are already measures in place for vulnerable parties and witnesses in the family courts.
Following a consultation with the Civil Justice Council, as of 6 April 2021 a new Practice Direction requires parties to consider the vulnerability of witnesses and other parties in civil cases. Practice Direction 1A sets out the factors to be considered when assessing the vulnerability of a party or witness, which interestingly includes – but is not limited to – “social, domestic or cultural circumstances”.
Practitioners have to assess from an early stage their clients’ and witnesses’ vulnerability and they must keep this under review.
We at SHU Law welcome this change. It is an opportunity to protect the best interests of those who are vulnerable and who may need specific assistance. We believe that access to justice and ensuring that all parties can effectively participate in court proceedings is central to the efficient and fair resolution of a civil case.