The situation described by John Greenwood in his letter of 3 November is a telling illustration of the increasing gap between the concerns of the political establishment and the lives and experience of ordinary people. 

There are some things which a civilised country cannot afford not to afford. The political consensus is that Trident is one of these, but access to justice for the less well-off is not. This ‘couldn’t-care-less’ attitude to justice is compounded by the astonishingly stupid decision to cripple the effectiveness of the court system by brutal cost-cutting, just as it is swamped by a deluge of self-represented litigants.

All praise, then, to Sir James Munby for having the courage and determination to take the government to task for its ‘unprincipled and unconscionable’ failure to provide even the basics of a civilised justice system.

Stephen Trahair, consultant solicitor, Foot Anstey, Plymouth