Some people choose to represent themselves at court, rather than instructing a solicitor or barrister. As a result they are entitled to the reasonable assistance of a friend (known as a McKenzie Friend). I can be that McKenzie Friend for you. More and more people are conducting their own cases in court, without a solicitor or barrister, often because they cannot afford lawyers’ fees. Legal Aid to pay these fees is also becoming harder to get.
Representing yourself in court can be much less daunting if you have the help of a McKenzie Friend to assist in preparing the case beforehand and to sit along-side you in court. As a McKenzie Friend I can take away some of the stress by:
• Providing moral support
• Taking notes
• Helping with case papers
• Quietly giving advice in court
A McKenzie Friend is not entitled to address the court, nor examine any witnesses, apart from in exceptional circumstances, when a judge can grant a McKenzie Friend what is termed “right of audience” in a particular case. If that was the case in your situation then I would then be allowed to address the court and conduct your case for you, as a solicitor or barrister would normally do.
I have in excess of 20 years sitting in court as a Justice of the Peace including work in the family court so I have plenty of experience to be able to help you.