Making the Decision to Self-Represent

Are you considering whether or not you will handle a legal matter, particularly a matter that is going to court, without the assistance of a lawyer? The following resources, as well as those listed in the other Preparing for Court sections (see the menu on the left), may inform your decision.

CPLEA Suggested Resources

Not sure where to begin finding answers to your questions. Get started with our suggested resources. See additional resources below for more information.


This website has multimedia presentations (videos) that provide information on presenting a family matters case in Chambers. The website was created by the Law Courts Education Society of  British Columbia but a lot of the information is relevant to other jurisdictions.

Related legal topic(s): Custody and access, Divorce and separation, Family law general resources, Self-representation

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) is committed to advancing understanding of the challenges and hard choices facing the very large numbers of Canadians who come to court without counsel. The Project works to promote dialogue and collaboration among all those affected by the self-represented litigant phenomenon, both justice system professionals and litigants themselves. They publish resources designed specifically for SRLs, as well as research reports that examine the implications for the justice system.

Related legal topic(s): Legal process, Legal research

An increasing number of persons appearing in the court system are self-represented. In 2006, the Canadian Judicial Council created a statement of principles concluding that “self-represented persons are generally uninformed about their rights and about the consequences of the options they choose.” The Council also underlined the need for better information and tools for those who wish to represent themselves. (PDF - 12 pages.)

Related legal topic(s): Self-representation