Responses to a consultation looking into the rise of McKenzie Friends in the family courts has been published. The report was released on Monday, and offers thoughts on the ways in which lay advisors should be able to attend hearings, the kind of support they may need and what codes of conduct they should adhere to.

In the report, the Judicial Executive Board makes the following recommendations:

  • All courts should apply the current law applicable to McKenzie Friends as established by Court of Appeal authority
  • The provision of a Plain Language Guide for LiPs and McKenzie Friends
  • Practice Guidance on McKenzie Friends should be updated

There are other thoughts inside the report. The following comments and recommendations were made by respondents to the consultation:

  • McKenzie Friends should be granted automatic rights of audience
  • There should be an outright prohibition on McKenzie Friends and other non-regulated individuals or organisations providing legal services
  • The term McKenzie Friend is confusing and should be replaced with “court supporter”
  • The term McKenzie Friend is widely known and understood by lawyers and the public
  • A less strict approach to granting rights of audience should apply to family

You can read the report here.


Image courtesy of the Custody Minefield