Post the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), the government has noticed a changing pattern in the way legal representation is working, or not as the case may be (horrible pun intended), and now the government wants to find out exactly how this is affecting the length and number of hearings.

The Notice itself tells us that a statistical bulletin will be published on 27th November (tomorrow), and will showcase exploratory analyses into the impact of an increased number of parties in private law cases where there has been no legal representation. It will look at the number of hearings in this context, and the duration of those hearings.

The research will also be used to test the quality and availability of centrally held data on hearing length in private family law cases.

We wonder whether we have misunderstood the remit of this data, but to focus solely on cases without legal representation is to miss out all those cases where one side may be represented but another not, which is also vitally important in terms of impact on the system and the kind of data this would produce. If we are right, then we hope more research will be carried out in the future, and if we are wrong, just let us know and we’ll shut up.