Equal Access To The Law

1 Article 6 of the European Convention on Human rights guarantees a fair trial. In practice however, in civil matters, this is conditional on the defendant or respondent having the means to file a defence or response, let alone to mount an effective defence. Powerful and unscrupulous companies or individuals are thus able to bully opponents into submission, regardless of the merits of their case.

2 We would work in the Council of Europe to secure an amendment to Article 6, to ensure that any party in a civil dispute is able to mount a defence or response, and that effective sanctions are applied to any vexatious or intimidating litigant. This amendment would be brought into English law whether or not the convention was so amended.

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