For further information and guidance on court rules, procedures and a glossary of legal terms read our personal litigants guide
For practical guidance and information about making arrangements for children whose parents are no longer together, go to Family Court Information for Northern Ireland, hosted by Ulster University. You can find out about alternatives to going to court and how to obtain a family court order.
NICTS staff are ready to help you in whatever way they can, however please understand that resources and time available to staff are limited.
NICTS staff can
- provide you with general information about the court / tribunal
- give you general information on court / tribunal rules, procedures and practices
- provide you with forms [that you have identified] or tell you how to obtain them
- give you some basic help in completing some forms, but they cannot tell you what to say in a form about your case
- give you legal advice about your case
- express an opinion on your case or give you advice about whether you should file a case /commence proceedings, or whether you should take any particular action in a case
- recommend a course of action
- recommend a particular solicitor
- tell you what to say in court or at a tribunal hearing
- comment on the outcome of your case or on a judicial decision
- deal with complaints about the legal profession or a judicial officer;
- provide copies of court documents (unless the appropriate fees are paid) or
- complete forms on your behalf
Litigation is inevitably difficult and it is preferable to seek legal advice or assistance from an advice agency.
What assistance is available to you?
- You may be entitled to receive legal aid. A solicitor will be able to advise you if you qualify for legal aid or you can contact the Legal Services Agency via this website or via telephone 028 9040 8888
- A list of solicitors firms throughout Northern Ireland is available on the Law Society’s website, or you can contact the Society by via telehone 028 9023 1614
- The Citizens Advice Bureau Northern Ireland offers free, impartial, confidential and independent advice and direction to members of the public. There are 27 main offices across Northern Ireland and the addresses of individual branches can be found on the citizensadvice website.
- Housing Rights (HR) provide free, independent advice and representation at court for people facing homelessness. You can contact HR on 028 9024 5640 or visit the housingrights website
- Advice NI is the umbrella organisation for a number of free independent advice agencies. You can contact Advice NI on 028 9064 5919 or visit their website, www.adviceni.net.
- A guide to proceedings in the High Court has been developed to assist those who are starting or continuing litigation in the High Court without a legal representative. Staff can provide you with a copy of the guide.
- Information about the Tribunals administered by the NICTS and the assistance available for advice and representation in each individual tribunal may be found at the Tribunals section of this website. The Tribunal Hearing Centre (including the Belfast Office of the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) is located in the Royal Court of Justice.
Please do not ask staff for legal advice as they are unable to provide this.
For information on bankruptcy proceedings read our bankruptcy guide
Family Court Forms
All forms used in our Family Courts are available at the courts publication section of this website.
For specific legislation or practice directions issued by the Judiciary NI you will be redirected externally to the following
- Legislation: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/
- Practice Decisions: https://www.judiciary-ni.gov.uk/judicial-decisions
- Read our Court Rules
Here you will find information to some of the key information sources & forms needed during the preparation of documents for probate business in Northern Ireland. Use this link to view all available information.
Further information on court fees is available at our publication section of this website
The Insolvency Service of Northern Ireland is responsible for the administration and investigation of bankruptcy and companies in liquidation, disqualification of directors, regulating the insolvency profession as well as NI-specific legislation and policy.
You can find out more about their services on the Department for the Economy website
Litigants in Person Reference Group
In 2018 the School of Law at Ulster University published a research report - “Litigants in person in Northern Ireland: barriers to legal participation” - which highlighted the experiences and challenges faced by litigants in person in the civil and family courts in Northern Ireland.
Following the research, the Department of Justice, in consultation with Ulster University and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, established the Litigant in Person Reference Group.
The Reference Group’s central purpose is to identify ways to improve the experience of personal litigants generally in the courts system. It provides a space where the voices of litigants in person can be heard on broad issues of concern which in turn, can be fed into wider discussions on access to justice.
You can find out more about the Reference Group's work at https://www.litigant-voice.co.uk/