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This paper centres around a more realistic characterization of who self-represented litigants are and the issues they face. For various social, economic, or geographic reasons, self represented litigants tend to have unmet legal needs, increasing the cost of already burdensome and cumbersome judicial proceedings. These result from an overall lack of legal resources and assistance, low incomes, low education, and low digital literacy rates, often leading to misunderstandings of social and legal needs and court processes. The disadvantaged position of those self-representing leads to power imbalances in the courtroom that reduces their access to justice. Further, the conflation between behaviours deemed to be vexatious and behaviours that suggest confusion and unintended errors that may result from unfamiliarity with courtroom proceedings is concerning.

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