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McKenzie Friend

The Courts have yet to quantify the warm and fuzzy 'support person' role in 12A hearings

I am attaching a UK appeal which deals with the McKenzie Friend issue in the UK Courts.

Interesting that the UK system is somewhat behind the Australian one but on the issue of McKenzie Friends - we lag far behind.

The Courts have yet to quantify the warm and fuzzy 'support person' role in 12A hearings

What is more galling is that McKenzie's actual friend in the Court was Ian Hanger - an Australian solicitor - but alas his own Country does not officially recognize his contribution to an English Appeal that had widespread implications in the English speaking legal World

A word of caution - this is of course from the UK so has no bearing on Australian Family Law Courts

Attachment

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
A little on the history of a McKenzie Friend - and their use in Australian Courts - courtesy of SRL-R

Attachment

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

McKenzie Friend

Hi Agog.

I met with a McKenzie Friend today.

For the price of a coffee I got the same advice that would of cost me a whole wardrobe full of clothes for my kids.

Coffee and Nachos

It was coffee and nachos - remember? Good to meet you. Just check out the advice I gave you with your legal aunty. Application of the law is as important as knowledge of the law - some thing that people forget.

Last edit: by Agog


Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Yes, forgot the nachos. They cost $800 and Yes I will gain more advice tomorrow and get back to you.

I too am getting help

I have entered the arena of self represented litigation and also have found a friend that is willing to share experiences and ideas. With the networks he is able to tap into through this portal and array of supporting, like minded and key people; we are taking on the beast, and I mean fire breathing.

I am extremely greatfull for the help and support and without it I would be taking this on by myself. Probably the single most important argument I will have in my life. I'm fighting for the rights of my kids.


 

Mckenzie Friend

Today in court I witnessesd an SRL front the judge and ask if his friend could sit with him at the bar table (as a Mckenzie Friend).

The look of the judge will be etched in my mind for eternity - he bluntly said NO!

What a friend indeed

This case was where a trial notice was issued, and where the magistrate wanted to see what was happening with the court ordered counselling. The SRL did very well on the day; he was up against a beech of a lawyer!

The McKenzie's Friend still managed to fill 6 pages of notes, write down the orders and give advice to a lawyer who wanted to know, "what mood is she/he in; how is it going?"

A McKenzie's Friend help does not start in the court room - it takes many hour of help to get in to the court room. Part of the advice given is that they might not allow for a McKenzie's Friend, so you prepare them accordingly.

It should be noted that this was NOT a final hearing - it took about 25 minutes by my reckoning and about 12 hours by the SRLs! 

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Yes she was a beech (nothing new).

The SRL did very well. The lawyer kept talking over the SRL and to his credit he politely waited to respond - well done SRL and to McKenzie's friend…

monaro said
Today in court I witnessesd an SRL front the judge and ask if his friend could sit with him at the bar table (as a Mckenzie Friend).

The look of the judge will be etched in my mind for eternity - he bluntly said NO!
Monaro when you post in this section you should supply more accurate details of an event. For example why did the FM (not a Judge - it was in the Federal Magistrates Court) say No.

Fortunately Monteverdi has supplied more accurate details. Since this was not a long matter, a procedural hearing - a refusal would be a normal event although there is never much harm in asking.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
monteverdi said
A McKenzie's Friend help does not start in the court room - it takes many hour of help to get in to the court room. Part of the advice given is that they might not allow for a McKenzie's Friend, so you prepare them accordingly.
Monteverdi makes the very valid point that often a McKenzie Friend is sometimes far more than someone that sits next to you in Court.

For those of you that are members of SRL-R please read or re read the McKenzie Friend documentation in the members area.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

McKenzie Friend or Support Person

I have found Federal Magistrates tend to say NO to support people or McKenzies Friends at interim hearings. At finals they generally say yes.

In the FCoA there has been no problem about support people. One judge said "I Don't allow Mc Kenzie Friends in my court" but had no problem with a support person. Later in the Trial the Judge described me as a McKenzie Friend.

In another case, the Judge asked the other Party's legal team if there was any objection to a support person. "No Objection" was the reply. The Judge further commented "If they had any objection I would not allowed it"

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
What rounds for appeal might be available when a McKenzie friend is not allowed?

Is it the intention of the court to favour those with resources?

Regardless of the matter, is justice and fairness beyond question?

Unless rights are unquestioned, the power of those in authority precipitates perpetual injustice. Have there ever been appeals in respect of the rights to be assisted by a McKenzie friend? Is one needed?

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA


What is done for you, let it be done, what you must do, be sure you do it, as the wise person does today that what the fool will do in three days - Buddha

Self Represented Litigants a Challange!

This leads to the question of re-visiting Justic Faulks research project titled "Self Represented Litigants a Challange" done in 2000 through 2002 and published in 2003. ISBN 1-920866-00-0
Justice Faulks said
The Family Court of Australia was one of the first courts to recognise the challenge represented by the increasing numbers of litigants who, either by choice or necessity are self represented in proceedings before it. As a consequence the "Self Represented Litigants - A challenge project" was set up….
The Court commissioned research into self representation in family law. Conducted by Professor John Dewar, Barry Smith and Cate Banks in 2000. Key findings were:…

We need to get an electronic copy of this report and re-visit the areas that were left open for further review.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
 
verdad said
What rounds for appeal might be available when a McKenzie friend is not allowed?

Is it the intention of the court to favour those with resources?

Regardless of the matter, is justice and fairness beyond question?

Unless rights are unquestioned, the power of those in authority precipitates perpetual injustice. Have there ever been appeals in respect of the rights to be assisted by a McKenzie friend? Is one needed?
If you are talking about Australia - just a few. These were cases where the McKenzie Friend had previously been declared a vexatious litigant and also demanded to advocate.

Of course the real appeal case was 'McKenzie' itself - putting a new word in Court folklore in the Englsih speaking World.

1ADC makes very valid points about the use of the actual word and the Court recognised term of 'support person'.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

Support Person and CFM Pascoe

The Party I was supporting today, introduced himself to one of CFM Pascoe's support staff. My name was taken. A quick appearance in court, with the party's being sent out to see if they could sort it out. During this adjournement, the Staff member came out and informed my party that it was Ok for me to sit at the bar table in support.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
On March 14 (Goulburn St level 4 room 4) my last interim hearing before the final was ordered, I asked to have a "support person" stand with me. FM voice sounded annoyed and said words to the effect No! you are quite capable.

Good show

comeondaddyo said
On March 14 (Goulburn St level 4 room 4) my last interim hearing before the final was ordered, I asked to have a "support person" stand with me. FM voice sounded annoyed and said words to the effect No! you are quite capable.
  They normally will only let you have a support person for the final hearing; it does depend on the FM. As for you being quite capable, I seem to recall you did very well - remember it was your first time! You know where you went wrong - just focus on the big picture. Your FM is a fossil!

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Intersting this should be raised again at this time.  I have a court appearance on Thursday regarding consent to take my kids on holidays. Seems my ex interprets the Final Orders one way, I another. A solictor has already told me that I am right but my ex insists I have to have his written consent to take them out of South East Queensland ( still staying with in Queensland) and so he has said no. I have applied for court consent and will be heard in urgent hearing Thursday. Point is, I had read about MacKenzie Friend and was wondering if my father can fill this roll for me.  I am terrified of the hearing in being in the same room as my ex. He has previously had DVO's for violence against me.

Having read previous posts, am beginning to think 'No".

No reason not to ask

Hi Saphire

There is no reason not to ask - you may get a "No". It is more likely to be "Yes" if you mention that he is only there to provide moral support and to keep your paperwork in order.

That is if you are there for a hearing - if it is a conference - then maybe not

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
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