Self-advocates in civil legal disputes: how personal and other factors influence the handling of their cases

Michael Robertson, Jeff Giddings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article examines how some self-advocates handle their own civil legal disputes in circumstances where legal representation is not available. A combination of influences helps explain why some users of a specialised dispute resolution process were more likely to be effective and successful in their self-advocacy endeavours. Most importantly, the more effective users displayed positive attitudes, motivation and self-belief. They also demonstrated abilities in organisation, research and preparation. These attributes appeared to position them strongly to engage with and effectively manage the legal matters at hand. By contrast, other users in the same study were negatively disposed towards the challenges they faced. They lacked confidence and avoided seeking advice, conducting research, or preparing for their hearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-150
Number of pages32
JournalMelbourne University Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Cite this