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TOPIC: Consultation on McKenzie Friends

Consultation on McKenzie Friends 2 years 11 months ago #72924

  • Yoda
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Hi all

Please find a link below to a consultation regarding the judiciary's proposals to reform McKenzie Friends. If you have used a McKenzie Friend or are self representing in the Family Court, it is important to have your say on this matter.

Following the devastating effects of LASPO reforms and it's changes to Legal Aid in 2013 (30% plus increase in self represented proceedings) the use of McKenzie Friends has been increasingly common when a litigant simply cannot afford to engage the services of a solicitor or barrister.

These proposals include;

Whether to replace the term 'McKenzie Friend' with, for example 'court supporter' to clarify understanding of the role for LIP's, should Codification or Practice Direction Revision take place, whether a Plain Language Guide should be produced and also whether McKenzie Friends should be prohibited from charging for their services or claiming expenses. This latter point would also include MF's who receive payment indirectly via their salaries from an employer. For example, this would prevent any agency workers (CAB etc) attending court because of their salaried employment.


The consultation is a lengthy read with questions listed at the end. Response is accepted until 19th May.

www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/...on-paper-feb2016.pdf

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I have several years experience supporting parents in family proceedings as a McKenzie Friend. I am, however, not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

Consultation on McKenzie Friends 2 years 11 months ago #72942

  • actd
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I would strongly urge anyone who has used a McKenzies friend, is using one currently, or is considering using one, to read this and reply to the consultation. The potential threat to the support to fathers (and of course, it's not just in this area of law that it has an effect) if mckenzies friends are not allowed to operate in a reasonable manner, and for a reasonable fee does not bear thinking about.

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Consultation on McKenzie Friends 2 years 11 months ago #73051

I would just like to add my support to the moderators in that, if you have any comments at all regarding this proposal, it is vital you add your voice to the consultation.

After the amendments to Legal Aid in 2013, McKenzie Friends have been proven a vital support for many fathers, providing invaluable advice and support. It is imperative that they continue to function effectively and that the changes do not hinder their overall ability to provide affordable and high-quality advice.

FMI will be following this consultation closely, to monitor and campaign against any negative impact the changes might have on fathers.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding this, please do not hesitate to get in touch with myself or the forum moderators.
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Last Edit: by Clare Deane.
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