Legal Maxim “He who fails to assert his rights has none.”


HM Prison Armley & Anor [2011] EWHC 2269 (Admin) (26 August 2011)
URL: ttp://
Cite as: [2011] EWHC 2269 (Admin)

1. … I was also asked to consider (by his McKenzie friend, Mr Jarvis) whether or not it was open to me to hear an application by the Claimant to purge his contempt.

3. … I was also addressed by his McKenzie friend, Mr Jarvis.

4. At the hearing on 25 August 2011 I was addressed at length by the Claimant. Mr Jarvis also made representations on his behalf.

7. The Claimant was not represented by a lawyer …

8. … Mr Jarvis made short submissions in support of those contentions. …

21. During the course of his oral representations Mr Jarvis raised the possibility of the Claimant applying to me to purge his contempt.

22. I should say for completeness that I assumed I had jurisdiction to grant bail not as the judge who had determined the application for habeas corpus against the Claimant but, rather, as a judge of the High Court who is authorised to sit in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division and to whom an application (albeit very informally) had been made for bail pending appeal.

[2011] EWHC 2269 (Admin)

People recently have been informing me of difficulties they have had while helping friends who may be facing Court action, with being recognised by the Court, as normally Court Magistrates and Judges are used to dealing with people who they term as Lawyers,

Wikipedia legal definition;

In England and Wales, “lawyer” is used loosely to refer to a broad variety of law-trained persons. It includes practitioners such as barristers, solicitors, legal executives and licensed conveyancers; and people who are involved with the law but do not practise it on behalf of individual clients, such as judges, court clerks, and drafters of legislation.

When playing my small part in the campaign to free Norman Scarth, one of my roles was that I acted as McKenzie friend in Court, which in real terms meant I actually took on the role of a Barrister and Solicitor combined, in that I filled out all the forms and created multiple copies of relevant paperwork, including evidence and dealt with communication to and from the Court and was even granted Legal visits to Norman Scarth in the Prison, going as far as applying for permission to take a tape recorder in, which permission was granted for.

I am not a legal professional, nor do I have any formal qualifications. I am self taught, driven by a desire to correct the inequality within the justice system.

Before this application was made, any application for a Writ has been made by very senior practising Lawyers who specialise within the High Court.

On the 25 August 2011, all that changed as it was written in to case Law that the rights of the common Law advocate remain, and are reasserted under the ever evolving status of ‘McKenzie friend’.

No application was made for rights of audience to address the judge, but it was simply granted.

The matter sat in both Civil and Criminal jurisdiction within the High Court of Justice (see paragraph 22) meaning this case Law has implications for every Civil and Criminal hearing at regional and national level.


Legal Maxim “He who fails to assert his rights has none.”

This asserts in Law that any man or woman may have any representation of their own choosing and that representation does not have to be a recognised Lawyer or indeed have any qualifications.

Therefore if you wish to assist a friend in Court you may quote the above case Law, copy, paste and print, with its reference, and submit this to the Court in writing at the outset of proceedings.

The case law grants the McKenzie friend rights of audience in all matters whether Civil or Criminal proceedings.

The case law also established the right to make informal on the spot applications by the McKenzie friend.

It is your duty to assert your rights in this way, as it makes it easier for the next man or woman.

This way the judiciary gets used to doing things fairly again.

Please share this article and copy and paste as these are the rights of everyone.


About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is
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7 Responses to Legal Maxim “He who fails to assert his rights has none.”

  1. Chris Jarvis says:

    You have made a mistake, this entry was written by myself (Chris Jarvis) and not by Sabine McKNeill, please make sure this is reflected acurately as it was myself that also changed the Law to give McKenzie friends the same rights as Lawyers, credit where credit is due.

    • I’m terribly sorry not to have pointed that out IN ADDITION TO the text that, in my view, spells it out.

      THANK YOU for making it CRYSTAL clear to all readers.

      • Chris Jarvis says:

        It was brought to my attention by one of your readers who was just checking that there was no plagiarism going on, so it became necessary to point it out.

        I am pleased to see that the article is posted just for the fact of knowing that this change in the Law could help so many people who would not otherwise be able to be afforded the help.

        It should also be noted that ‘Informal’ in legalese means “no form”, so the fact the case Law establishes the McKenzie friend as being able to make informal applications, is actually VERY important.

        Paragraph 22 of the Judgement also sets the precident that a Judge may use any of his powers by assuming jurisdiction, this is particularly useful as I am representing a matter that is before the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Heaton who is a section 9 Judge which means that he sits as both a Civil and Criminal Judge in both the lower regional Court, and the High Court. This case Law allows me to make an oral request that he use his High Court Criminal powers when sitting this Civil matter, this may make further history and I will report on the result at a later stage.

        Good blogging Sabine!

  2. obsesiverights says:

    I hate being critical of what is intended to be a “Good legal Maxim” – As It is true to say; “Legal Maxim; “He who fails to assert his rights has none.” In the sense where it means we have a duty to stand up for our rights or risk losing them.

    However anyone not asserting their rights, may choose not to assert their right, because it may cost them more to assert it, or they may not realise that their rights had been affected. ie, If a person is defrauded or loses property through theft, they may not know about it, or consider it is financially not worth the effort of even bothering to report. If however the offender is caught and property obviously belonging to another, say a passport, credit card, or bank book the victim still has “the right” to the return of the property and to report the matter.

    My motive for this trivial comment, was to point out that we can be so easily sidetracked into the unimportant issues that we take effort away from what we want to achieve.

    Every distraction is a distraction we can’t afford. Time is of the essence. Eliminate the negative focus on the positive, one door closes another opens, while we are making the effort we are not failing and we cannot fail if we never give up.

    If we delve into every can of worms to seek out all the different secret societies and how they manipulate the system, we are diffusing our energies and this costs us time. While we do want to know what we are up against, we need to remain focused on winning hearts and minds, and the strategy that will get victims to unite and by uniting bond by helping each other. I believe that by joined up thinking and getting the message out to victims and interested parties, that we are focused on achieving the impossible. We will succeed with the determination that giving up is not an option.

    The way to do this is by winning the argument, we win arguments by getting the other side to accept irrefutable facts, and bringing those facts out in the open. We must stick to the truth, backed up by clear and convincing evidence, and there can be no dispute.

    I believe that the biggest mistake made by these powerful authorities is the present intention of creating restrictions on Free Speech. They have selected one worm out of the can, to win over a largely indifferent public and gain support for the Royal Charter and restrictions on what the press may publish. We have seen this silence the press over the Nigel Cooper affair, which went international but nothing anywhere other than the internet in the UK.

    They stop us talking then they brainwash us with their proper gander. Then what? Thought Police?

    Unite for justice

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