My article in the Barrister magazine on the key things people should consider when representing themselves

Read the article here.

From the introduction to the article:

“In my twenty plus years at the Bar, I have seen many people representing themselves who have little idea what they are doing. Lack of experience is not their fault – how are they to know what to do? Criminal practitioners start their practice prosecuting unrepresented defendants in the Magistrates’ Courts. But unrepresented defendants in the Crown Courts? That was a rare thing.

The rise of the unrepresented defendant in the Crown Courts has long been foretold. Unrepresented not by choice, but by necessity. There has been an unspoken contract that, as the level of charge gets serious enough to come within the wider sentencing powers of circuit judges, so it is more likely that legal aid will be granted. That contract was broken by a revised ‘means test’ that removed legal aid from a swathe of society, then smashed when it became impossible for acquitted defendants (who had paid privately for their defence) to recover their costs beyond the level that legal aid would have paid.”

Nigel Booth’s book “How Do I Defend Myself At Court: What To Expect, How To Prepare” is available from The book’s website can be found at


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