Vulnerable people representing themselves in Court are being given biased and misinformed advice by online legal advisors in many cases, according to new research.
A study carried out at the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds assessed the quality of advice handed out by advisors on online forums and social media platforms, and found that online advisors often delivered biased advice and made suggestions reflecting personal anti-Court and anti-Social Services viewpoints.
It found instances of parents being advised to ignore the advice of lawyers, or to act against the advice of their own lawyers while promoting the services of McKenzie Friends and going on to suggest that Courts are institutionally unfair.
Sarah Clubley, Head of Family, commented “This research reinforces our view that clients are best served by face to face advice from trained and qualified advisors who are able to obtain all the relevant information about the case before recommending what steps should be taken. Parties who rely on online advice need to be aware of the risks involved, and the potential damage that can be caused by poor or ill-advised advice”.
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