Most of you will think of this subject as 'self-representation', but I find that term offensive for the misrepresentation that it perpetuates about the reality of our legal system. As a concept, 'representation' is one of proxy - ie. conventionally the lawyer 're-presents' the litigant. So what's a 'self-representing litigant'? - a person who has to pretend he's their own proxy?? This is redundant nonsense - they are people asserting their own direct rights in a democracy, unencumbered by a profession that has to a large extent failed them and systems that have grown up like a weed about what could have been a thorough-going democratic vision. People are simply 'parties' to litigation, and parties present their cases before courts or administrative tribunals. Thus - lawyers and paralegals re-present their clients' cases, and parties present their cases - ergo, this topic is "presentation".
Many, many parties cannot afford lawyers - and even more dismiss the possibility of using the law to their advantage as an impossible dream. I for one think that it's past time for a fundamental change in our legal systems: see Democracy, Law and Duty.
I've tried to select and allocate these case-extracts from the perspective of a presenting party. The interaction of the courts and tribunals with unrepresented parties has been a challenge for all concerned, and hopefully these extracts will give presenters some idea of what they may be facing in either civil or administrative litigation.