Asylum seekers have a variety of legal problems: ranging from the asylum application, housing and welfare support, racial harassment, personal injury and family law
Breakdown of the demand for legal services in Hong Kong including households and small businesses – slides 7-12
Characteristics of consumers by will ownership
Characteristics of legal service users page 5
Types of services used page 6
Commenting on the lack of data available, provides a summary of a US household legal needs study in 1994 where 50% of households experienced one of more legal problems annually.
Of those with legal needs, 37% of the poor sought assistance from a third-party for resolution of the problem, 29% from a specifically legal third party such as a lawyer (21%) or other from a non-legal third party (8%). Among moderate-income households, assistance from a third-party was sought with 51% of problems, 39% from a specifically legal source (lawyers 28%, other legal/judicial 12%).
- page 134
Comparing findings of US and UK legal need studies:
the specific use of lawyers in the U.K. surveys is roughly the same as in the U.S.: 27% in England and Wales, 29% in Scotland versus 26% in the U.S. Where the substantial difference emerges is in the use of other third-parties. Moreover, because non-lawyers in the U.K. are authorized to give legal advice (such as volunteer-staffed Citizens Advice Bureaux or proprietary legal advice centres), the effective difference is even greater: Americans received advice from those who are able to give legal advice in only 37% of cases, compared to 60-65% of U.K. cases. Furthermore, a far smaller percentage of the U.K. respondents, as compared to U.S. respondents,
Comparison of users of courts across Europe, pages 53-58
Looking at respondents to the CSJS by relationship status.-
Socio-economic differences between married and cohabiting respondents were found to be largely a function of age. Little difference in stability of relationships was evident from these data once age, in particular, was accounted for. The presence of children tended to increase the stability of relationships regardless of form. Cohabitants, particularly those with children, were more likely to report family-related problems, though there was evidence that many of these problems concerned earlier relationships. Problems associated with relationship breakdown routinely resulted in adverse consequences such as ill-health, loss of income, loss of a home or domestic violence.
Examining the data by reference to relationship status, cohabitants without children were most likely to report problems. However, they were not particularly more likely to do so than married respondents living with their spouse and without children. Those with children living in their household were typically less likely to report problems, especially married respondents living with their spouse – Page 8
Of the 84 respondents who reported having experienced problems ancillary to relationship breakdown, 72% reported one or more adverse consequences. Fifty-seven per cent reported that such problems led to stress-related illness; 14% to physical illness; 29% to a loss of confidence; 23% to loss of income; 20% to loss of a home; 19% to personal violence being aimed at them; and 6% to loss of employment.
The key findings here are that children are important to the level of impact of such disputes, that negative impacts are commonly experienced, and that the impact may be substantial. Interestingly, respondents without children in their household most often experienced negative impacts (particularly stress-related) associated with disputes relating to children, regardless of whether those respondents had themselves re-partnered. This suggests that the stress associated with contested contact/residence disputes may be a significant source of difficulty for non-resident parents, and not just parents with care. Page 13
Comparison of users of courts across Europe:
Provision of information -
It is not only important to provide general information on websites, but in order to manage the expectations of the users of the courts, it is also important that users can receive information concerning the
Consumers of courts service, for example, can be both users and professional advisors (page 5).
CPS are consumers, in the sense that they buy legal services off the referral bar (page 4).
21% of public who have used legal services in the past 5 years used conveyancing services
28% of BME people in England and Wales have used a solicitor in the past five years – most commonly for property transactions.
41% of the general public in England and Wales have used a solicitor in the past five years
CPS as a consumer of advocacy services – Table of CPS advocate deployment levels 2004-2009 including estimated level of counsel fees saved by CPS – page 61
44% of adults with psychiatric disorders reported debt and relationship problems, compared to 23% of those with no disorder
Data on business lifecycles. Potential indicator of annual legal needs at business start up stage.
Discussion on the propensity of people with mental health issues to have rights problems. Stats on need by type of law on page 133.
Distinguishes 2 type of motivation for seeking advice:
Those clients who needed assistance with forms or paperwork were typically having difficulty understanding and completing the paperwork due to a number of factors including age, learning difficulties, health problems, and language difficulties. This group also included those who were attending in proxy for another person. Typically these clients were representing a friend or relative who was either physically unable to get to the CLAC themselves or who was unable
to ask for the help they needed because of a learning or language difficulty.
Clients who came to the CLAC for advice concerning an ongoing legal problem had typically attempted to manage the problem themselves and had reached a crisis point in the problem which they could no longer manage alone. These clients were at imminent risk of losing something significant in their lives. Some were at the point of losing their home, others were in fear of losing contact with someone such as their children following a marital separation. Clients were also motivated to seek advice in response to an action from another party, such as receiving a letter from the bank or debtors, or receiving court papers – Page 40
The population of clients who came to the CLACs for advice showed a range of vulnerabilities, including learning and language difficulties, complex physical and mental health needs and cultural issues. This meant that for many clients there were potential intellectual barriers to accessing advice, such as difficulties in completing paperwork, intellectually accessing the information and advice needed, understanding the advice given and carrying out the actions given to them by advisors. The importance of offering inclusive advice which could be accessed by any client irrespective of their age, ethnicity, intellect, and physical and mental health was highlighted by clients and advisors. – Page 48
The most common problems at CLACs were associated with welfare benefits and these were often presented as mistakes on the part of benefits offices, debt and employment. Page 92
Clients present their problems in different ways:
Clear and purposeful – awareness of the impacts of the problem, and specific. Taking client details sometimes got clients to express the kind of help they were seeking.
Unspecific – client not really sure why they are there and describing problem in vague terms.
Reports evidence of problem clustering -
This clustering took different forms. It included clustering of the same types of problems, for example around debt. Clients also experienced different categories of problems, which were, however, related; such as interconnected welfare benefits, debt and housing problems. In addition, clients also had multiple problems that were not inter-linked. A few clients only appeared to have one problem. – Page 95
Inter related clusters -
Inter-related clusters were often
Survey data on demographic users of CLAC within sample – compared with population as a whole (pages 15 – 21).
DUTCH STUDY: users of legal aid are on average more often male, between 20 and 45 years old, and less often younger than 15 and older than 60. They are relatively often unemployed. If users are classified according to socio-economic categories as used by the CBS, it appears that students, employees and pensioners are underrepresented and that benefit recipients and other inactive persons are overrepresented. The average legal aid user is more often divorced or single; persons living in a single-parent family are overrepresented in the group of legal aid users. Married people without children, in particular, are underrepresented; this will often concern couples in which both partners have an income. On average, the users of legal aid belong more often to the group of non-Western ethnic minorities. They live relatively often in towns with populations over 250,000 and less often in towns with populations under 50,000 (page 4).
Elderly: Most common issues – care home fees, wills and estate management
Focused on young adults in prison
general population – most common problems: consumer, neighbours, money/debt, employment, personal injury and rented accommodation. Respondents living in temporary accommodation – most common problems: rented accommodation, money/debt, employment, domestic violence and discrimination
Impact of outreach services to socially excluded
In relation to court user survey ONLY, stats on the typical court users by various diversity demographics (page 38 – 39)
Social service tribunal demographics within survey sample group (page 12), immigration (page 28), industrial tribunals (page 37), mental health tribunals (page 54).
In the conveyancing market, Abs and young people are most likely to have used a solicitor in the past five years (page 6).
Study reported that criminal clients were local, young, male, unemployed recidivists. Around nine-tenths of the clients in the sample cases were local, over a half were under 26, just under nine-tenths were male, approaching two-thirds were unemployed and two-thirds definitely had prior convictions. The average age of clients at the offence date was twenty-seven.
Almost two-thirds of clients were unemployed. The figure was the same for both male and female clients, but there seemed to be a difference between ethnic categories. Fewer than average Asian clients were unemployed (50%), more than average black clients were (70%) and the unemployment figure for white clients was more or less mid-way between the two. As well as having no job, many seemed not to have a permanent address at which they could be contacted. Letters would therefore be sent
Incidence of legal problems by problem type and respondent characteristics – pages 10-31
Experience of multiple problems by respondent characteristics – pages 32 – 34
Experience of those eligible for legal aid – pages 66-72
Suggest that since two thirds of the legal market by value does not affect the consumer, the interests of the commercial and public sector clients should be treated differently, and not termed consumers because the balance of power does not favour the lawyer. Page 3
Summarises LSRC findings on legal knowledge, and role of public law education. Defines legal capability in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
Summarises what kind of problems people seeking money advice had (page 27 – 28, pages 30 – 35).
Survey of police station court defendants – stats of survey participants (page 8 – 9).
The advice sector provides services for high numbers of clients not fluent in English and also disabled clients and clients with mental health problems. Some clients move house and change their phone numbers frequently.
Reports on the difficulty of getting a representative sample of clients – Pages 4-5
the seriousness of the offence had a significant impact, with increased use of legal advisers in police stations for
Research into unrepresented litigants found that:
some unrepresented litigants are in fact institutional repeat players (local authorities and housing associations in particular), whereas others are much more like the archetypical private litigants in person: individuals or small businesses.- Page 5
Breaks down litigants into 3 types:
1. Institutional litigants included the following: government bodies such as the DSS and the Collector of Taxes; local authorities; housing associations; health authorities and hospitals; quasi public bodies (e.g. the Motor Insurance Bureau, charities and schools); the police and fire authorities. Institutional litigants in person who, in spite of the absence of independent, professionally qualified legal representation, are likely to be repeat players and may have sufficient expertise in house to do a similar job of representing themselves as an independent lawyer would do.
2. Business litigants included sole traders, partnerships, and (private or public) limited companies.
3. Individual Litigants
Characteristics of LIPs:
More cases involved male unrepresented litigants than female unrepresented litigants: 48% of cases involved a male litigant in person, 38% involved a female litigant in person and 13% involved both a male and female litigation in person. It is also noticeable that in ancillary relief, divorces and injunction cases, if there was an unrepresented applicant, it was more often a woman that brought the application. Where the respondent was unrepresented, in ancillary relief, divorce and injunctions it was usually the man. The opposite was true for Children Act applications, unrepresented male applicants were more common than female applicants and unrepresented respondents were more likely to be women. Page 67
Indications of vulnerability included being victims of violence, depression, alcoholism, young, lone parents (18 or younger), drug use, histories of imprisonment, mental illness, living in temporary accommodation with the children, illiteracy, terminal illness, and involvement with social services. There were differences by case type. 30% (15) of adoption cases had an unrepresented litigant with some kind of vulnerability. The figures were 20% of injunctions and 15% of Children Act cases. Only 7% of any ancillary relief cases and 5% of divorce cases contained an indication of vulnerability. – Page 70
Summary discussion of LIPs – Pages 245 -265
There were complaints that solicitors and laymen did not understand how the Public Access system worked, and that lay clients did not properly understand what counsel could and could not do when instructed. Some comments suggested that lay clients had come directly to barristers after bad experiences with solicitors, and that where barristers had been obliged to
Significant differences between the range of legal problems faced by sole traders and micro business (those with less than 10 employees) – page ii
Most common issues for all small firms include business set up, contracts, tax, and regulation. Once firms take on staff they are faced with additional problems including employees contracts, health & safety, and property. Many sole traders are unwilling to exp[and their businesses as a result of these problems – page ii
TUC membership now stands at 58 unions, representing nearly six and a half million people – list of unions and details of memberships size (no information on legal services use)
Incidence of legal problems by problem type and respondent characteristics – pages 10-31
Experience of multiple problems by respondent characteristics – pages 32 – 35
Experience of those eligible for legal aid – pages 69-75
Incidence of legal problems by problem type and respondent characteristics – pages 15-52
Experience of multiple problems by respondent characteristics – pages 52 – 60
Incidence of legal problems by problem type and respondent characteristics – pages 9-48
It is a market characterised by asymmetric information, which makes it difficult for buyers to assess the risks and returns of the transactions they undertake. This problem of asymmetric information is especially acute in the case of long term contracts, where the expected returns may not appear for many years, and for small creditors of banks and savings institutions who may lack the ability to undertake their own credit assessments, except at quite unreasonable cost.
It is useful to think of two types of information asymmetry:
first, the nature of the contract between the firm and the individual may be difficult to understand, both in respect of what it is designed to achieve, and in relation to the in-built charges.
second, the performance against the terms of a contract will depend on the financial soundness of the firm, and the retail customer does not have the expertise to judge that soundness, nor can she acquire the information needed to do so except at an unrealistic cost.
The difficulty is that just as consumers cannot easily recognise a good product, so they do not always have the information they need to recognise a good adviser.
there are strong incentives for firms to offer commission to advisers who recommend their products, and one might expect this to lead to there being a high share of commission in the adviser
Legal needs for low an moderate incomes in Canada
Legal needs of individuals (experiencing financial problems) using outreach services, including prisoners,
Legal needs of prisoners
Legal needs of separated children applying for asylum in the UK. All are entitled to legal representation for their application
Legal needs of socially excluded
Unrepresented defendant reasons for not having a solicitor in court include – they
Legal needs over life time – Slide 9
Lone parents defined as -
Lone parents are defined for our purposes as single parents with resident care of one or more children under the age of 18. A parent without resident care, but with, for example, visiting contact, was not classified as a lone parent. – Page 12
9.6% of households and one in four families are headed by a lone parent. Description of types of lone parent, employment status, benefits recipients, and diversity – Pages 15-17
Reporting on LSRC data:
Lone parents are considerably more likely than other
family types to experience justiciable problems
Young people’s needs are complex and diverse, more than simple family law, juvenile justice and child protection. The need for legal advice on discrimination, education, benefits, mental health and crime will be higher in areas with relatively large Afro-Caribbean populations
Prisoners start sentences with a range of health and social problems. Nearly 50% had been unemployed prior to incarceration, 13% had never had a job and 46% had no qualifications. 15% were living in temporary accommodation or were homeless before custody
Long-term illness and disability and low income results in increases in the probability of domestic violence. Long-term illness and disability more likely to report discrimination, medical negligence and mental health problems. Young respondents more likely to report rented housing problems, homelessness and unfair police treatment – less likely to report employment, neighbour problems, divorce and children problems. Low income respondents more likely to report rented housing problems, homelessness, welfare benefit and family problems.
Proportion of lone parents in Britain and their make-up
Looks at the civil legal needs of prisoners in New South Wales through the stages of custody
Reports finding of a survey of 2,146 people, representative of the Uk population. Survey found:
25% of all adults (11,947,000 people) have had cause to seek legal advice in the last two years.
The most popular reasons that people sought legal advice in the last two years were for house buying or property issues (27%), personal injury claims (15%), writing a will (12%), employment issues (12%) or for a personal dispute (10%).
When seeking legal advice in the last two years 30% of woman sought advice on property sales or issues compared to 25% of men. 14% of women took legal advice for writing a will while 10% of men did so. More men (15%) sought legal advice for employment issues than women (9%). 10% of men sought legal advice for criminal charges compared to only 4% of women.
Of those arrested, survey found that a greater percentage had “difficult to solve” civil legal problem, compared with other people (page 1). Also more likely to have multiple problems
Reports on survey of legal needs in Netherlands:
1) the incidence of justiciable problems within the population; (2) the kind of strategies people choose to solve their problems; (3) the outcome of different strategies for resolving justiciable problems; (4) the public’s perceptions of the legal system
Of those who approach CAB: 14% experience benefit problems, 8% experience housing, employment, health or consumer problems.
Reports the incidence of problems amongst younger people from CSJS & Yout5h Access research:
– 35% of 18-24s reported one or more problems (compared to 33% of over 24s)
- 53% of 23 year olds (peak age)
- 47% of
Often the clients who experience the worst injustices and face the greatest problems are already the most alienated and vulnerable.
Pakistani and Bangladeshi individuals more likely to be victims of household crimes; ethnic minorities experience higher levels of victimisation
People with long-term illnesses or disability were more likely to have a legal need (page358). Tabular data on page 361.
Points out huge range in client needs (buying a croft in Scotland to suing a supplier of computers) – page 6.
Using CSJS data reports on prevalence of problems by age group:
Table 14 problem prevalence (of one or more problem of any
type), by age of respondent and within discrete groups of 18-24 year old respondents (i.e. by economic activity, whether or not they are parents, age subgroups and by illness/disability or mental health issues).
18-24 year olds had a similar problem prevalence to 45-
59 year olds and a lower prevalence than 25-34 and 35-44 year olds. However, percentage reporting problems increased considerably for NEETs and young parents, while illness/disability and particularly mental health problems resulted in particularly high prevalence
While 18-24 year olds typically report fewer problems than some other age groups (i.e. 25-44 year olds), young NEETs, young parents and young people with mental health problems all reported more problems in addition to having generally higher problem prevalence. Tables 16-22 report prevalence of problem types by category.
Including the findings of the General Health Questionnaire (twelve questions relating to psychiatric disorder, each with a four point scale (e.g. better than usual, same as usual, less than usual, much less than usual), shows that GHQ-12 caseness was related to increases in problem prevalence for all age groups, with the 18-24 year old group showing among the highest proportional increase.
Table 31. Broad problem-solving strategy by age and for discrete subsets of 18-24 year olds.
Table 32. Problem-solving strategy adopted by 18-24 year olds when faced with the eighteen problem types covered in the CSJS
Presents finding of research into Small Business Consumers:
- Distinction between Sole Traders & Micro Businesses (slide 9)
- Big three issues are business set up, cash flow/commercial contracts, tax and regulation (slides 10-14)
- Other issues including employee, H&S, consumer and contract law, property, and trading issues – slides 15-16.
Rarely seek issue resolution.
Lone parents – demographic profile
What access to justice provides for business is:
There is a worldwide political consensus that
Prisoners and ex-offenders. This study is only based on those using the outreach services. This is broken down into the types of problems prisoners experience