Many people within the vast legal system of NSW decide to represent themselves in the Courts of Law, however it is critical that all aspects are considered when making the decision on whether to self-represent or not.

Breaking Down The Myths

There are many reasons behind why people believe self-representation is the best path for their case, from alleged lower costs, lack of trust of lawyers and/or difficulty in communication amongst many other reasons. However, it must be noted that unfortunately often many of these reasons are made hastily and without proper research or backing.

  1. Lower Costs

While it is true that employing a lawyer does cost more upfront, it is critical to realise that without the help of a knowledgeable legal solicitor, many often risk having a worse outcome and hence greater financial costs and burdens after the completion of the case.

This is often the case given that people who are not trained on legal formalities, knowledge and processes are often unable to adequately represent a case in court.

Our team here at National Criminal Lawyers specialise in Criminal and Traffic Law, allowing you to be rest assured that we can provide the best possible service and achieve the best outcomes. Find out more about the services which we provide here.

  1. Lack of Trust of Lawyers

I think everyone can agree that choosing the correct lawyer to represent your case is a big step which many are afraid and reluctant to do. It is critical that an individual is able to find a lawyer who they can trust with such large and frightening moments in their life.

That is why the solicitors here at National Criminal Lawyers offer free initial consultations both in office at our many locations or via teleconference. We believe in providing everyone an opportunity to see if they feel comfortable and feel as if they can trust our skilled team.

We further believe that whether a firm is to be trusted is greatly dependent on it many success stories, providing a sense of ease and comfort behind the solicitors’ skills and expertise when handling your matter.

Recent cases which showcase the expertise of the team here at NCL can be found on our website blog.

One such recent case is seen where our team was able to put forth a case of self-defence for an individual who was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm for biting another individual on the back, despite the perplex nature of the case, our team was able to put forth such a defence that prosecution was unable to negate it beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence our client was found not guilty.


We believe that it is more beneficial to you to utilise firms which specialise in specific areas of law when dealing with your matter, as firms which deal with various sectors of the law often lack the necessary detail, knowledge and skill required to succeed with certain cases.

As a firm which specialises specifically on criminal and traffic law, National Criminal Lawyers believes that we hold greater knowledge and experience then firms which work on various fields of law, allowing us to better concentrate, understand and represent your best interests throughout the whole process. Learn more about the many skilled Solicitors who work with us here at National Criminal Lawyers.

The Law

Your right to self-representation in court is provided by Common Law and is established within sections 36(1) and 37(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW).

However, it is important to note that the law does establish certain restrictions when it comes to self-representing yourself in court. Such as in the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW), where under s 294A(2) and 294A(3) victims within sexual offence cases are unable to be questioned personally by the accused if self-representing, but rather must be questioned by an individual assigned by the court, upon instruction of the accused.

This is further seen within s 306ZL(2) which provides vulnerable witnesses this further protection.

Limitations are further established in the case of Vexatious proceedings as seen within the Vexatious Proceedings Act 2008. Vexatious proceedings are generally regarded as those used to misuse the purpose and the time of the court. Section 6 of this Act establishes what is to be considered a vexatious proceeding.

What Should You Remember?

It is important to remember that whilst you do have the complete right to represent yourself, it is critical that you understand the risks along with the positives associated with the decision such as achieving a worser and more financially burdening outcome later.


It is clear that despite the many concerns which individuals have in regard to solicitors, such can be negated when taking into consideration the many skills and experiences which specialist lawyers such as those who work here at National Criminal Lawyers have. Our team strives for excellence and to achieve the best for all our clients, allowing for a greater outcome and a smoother guided process then what can be expected when self-representing.


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