Could civil case management benefit from a litigant vulnerability assessment scheme?

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This article proposes a new case management tool to assist judges in ameliorating the adverse effect of litigant vulnerability in civil disputes. Many civil litigants have significant vulnerabilities, including self-representation, mental and physical illness, disability, technological incapacity, and linguistic and cultural difference. These vulnerabilities can adversely affect the ability of courts to manage their workloads and deliver justice to all litigants, particularly the most vulnerable litigants. This article explores the potential for practical non-legislative court reform to better accommodate litigant vulnerabilities through the introduction of an optional vulnerability assessment scheme. This scheme would inform judicial case management and facilitate litigant support to reduce party inequality and increase access to justice by ameliorating vulnerability and the inefficiency induced by vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Civil Litigation and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • civil procedure
  • vulnerability
  • case management


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