As a pro se litigant I have come across a judge referring in their minutes to a resource which is barely available to the general public. It is a loose leaf written by lawyers for lawyers on peculiarities of civil procedure which is constantly updated.
The cheapest option to get access to it is to pay $2k yearly subscription to the publisher. This price itself is not even publicly available. The publisher's website states "POA" (price on application), and I had to submit two POA requests plus a support request to finally get the offer.
I also tried public libraries. Some have that resource but outdated, and they no longer subscribe to it.
It is understandable that:
- Pro se litigation is not very common; and
- Lawyers are all subscribed to those kind of resources.
Still, representing yourself in court is a right, as is the right of natural justice. Does this not mean that there should be a right of access to whatever resources the judicial decisions that affect you refer to? Or would that $2k subscription fall into the category of litigation costs that I would be able to claim if I win?
Alternatively, could I perhaps seek that, instead of referring to a high-paywall resource, the judge refers to whatever underlying cases/laws the referenced provision is based on?
Answers for any English-centric jurisdiction are welcome, though specifically interested in New Zealand.