Court releases handbook to help litigants
The Supreme Court has created a handbook for civil litigants to help those navigating the courts for the first time.
The Handbook for Civil Litigants in Person, available now on the Supreme Court website, provides readers with a general overview of the civil litigation process. A limited number of physical copies will also be made available at the Supreme Court Registry in the Government Administration Building.
A spokeswoman explained: “The chapters are written in a summary fashion with consideration to the fact that litigants in person vary a great deal in relation to their abilities, and are intended to give a broad brush picture of the central areas of preparation and presentation of civil proceedings.
“It is not a legal textbook, and does not have the force or the authority of law. Civil litigants are reminded that the information in the handbook does not constitute legal advice for any individual case, but rather provides a snapshot of the litigation process from the beginning, including various considerations before commencing proceedings, to the final hearing and enforcement proceedings.”
Chief Justice Ian Kawaley, who first announced the drafting of a handbook in the Bermuda Judicial 2016 Annual Report, said the notebook would help to serve a void which members of court staff have been addressing on an ad hoc basis.
“It is hoped that this handbook will play an important role in assisting civil litigants in person, whether pursuing claims or defending claims, as well as maintaining the judiciary’s commitment to access to justice as a right available to all,” he said.
The need for a specialised handbook for litigants in the family and matrimonial jurisdiction has also been identified and a similar guide is being developed for publication later in 2017.