‘McKenzie Friends‘ have existed in UK courts ever since the McKenzie vs McKenzie case in 1970.
Belinda McKenzie, a McKenzie Friend by name and by nature, is a human rights activist fluent in six languages, and suggested to form the Association of McKenzie Friends.
An Association of McKenzie Friends became necessary on a number of occasions, especially when helping Litigants in Person who are in prison – on remand, i.e. unconvicted:
- After having been allowed ‘legal visits’ in HMP Holloway twice, one McKenzie Friend was ‘downgraded’ to social visits, i.e. no papers could be taken in by either the inmate or the McKenzie Friend;
- this made it impossible to prepare the response to an Order, let alone an appeal in time;
- McKenzie Friends were not allowed to speak to the prisoners who were waiting in the court cells;
- instead, they were given 20 minutes by a judge during a family court hearing.
Our Aims and Objectives are therefore:
- to raise awareness of the value that McKenzie Friends bring to Litigants in Person – as an alternative to lawyers;
- to play the role of advocacy on behalf of victims of white collar crimes and child snatching;
- to lobby those responsible for making change possible;
- to publish relevant findings and experiences in the public interest.
Our immediate campaigning goals are:
- allow McKenzie Friends the rights for legal visits in prisons;
- allow McKenzie Friends to instruct barristers on behalf of their victims;
- the recognition of ‘public interest advocacy’, when McKenzie Friends present their observations in courts or represent cases at meetings with MPs and MEPs.