The Walking Wounded: Failure of Self-Represented Litigants in 2017 Supreme Court of Canada Leave to Appeal Applications
Self-Represented Litigants (SRLs) are persons who appear in court and tribunal proceedings without a lawyer. They are rarely successful at the Supreme Court of Canada. Despite SRLs being the subject of considerable attention as a facet of the "access to justice crisis," this article reports the first statistical quantitative investigation of a Canadian SRL population. This article examines all of the SRL leave to appeal applications at the Supreme Court of Canada in 2017, categorizing them by party type, legal issue, and level of sophistication. No procedural obstacles were identified to SRL participation at the Supreme Court. Instead, the failure of SRLs in Supreme Court proceedings results from the substance of their filings.
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