Save @NormanScarth #WWII Veteran and #McKenzieFriend from CPS, WYP and ICO

Victims Unite!

16 05 28 Norman ScarthNorman Scarth was a remarkable horse whisperer and has recently celebrated his 90th birthday in Ireland. He fled his native country to be safe from another period in prison or mental hospital, where his enemies would like to see him – for no good reason at all – except negative attitudes such as abuse of power and position – “because they can.”

In this online petition directed at the Prime Minister, Alan Dransfield is asking for a Public Inquiry into the Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO], West Yorkshire Police [WYP] and the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] regarding Norman’s appalling treatment.

Norman’s experiences are in one life what I’ve observed in soo many victims who had to act as Litigant in Person [LiP] because the legal profession was not supportive. As a result, they became starfighters, campaigners, McKenzie Friends, McKenzie Angels, activists and Public Interest Advocates. Hence these 

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@MoJ Who’s Afraid of #McKenzieFriends? Why? NO BAN on paid McKenzie Friends! #McKenzieAngels FLY!

16 05 26 ConsultationThe Lord Chief Justice‘s Consultation on Reforming the Courts’ Approach to McKenzie Friends came out on the day we won our ‘costs case‘: after we’ve been helping Melissa Laird in all sorts of roles in HMP Holloway, the Treasury Solicitor‘s Office thought they needed their money back that they had paid to a private barrister to ‘beat’ us.

The consultation was recently discussed with the Legal Services Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority – with the result: No Case for ban on paid McKenzie Friends and VERY interesting comments regarding the chaos of the legal system – created by money and ‘professional insurance’ above all else.

Submissions by voluntary McKenzie Friends have been made – in chronological order – by:

  1. Natasha Phillips – publisher of the excellent blog Researching Reform;
  2. Mr Anonymous;
  3. Deborah Mahmoudieh – fearless campaigner and multi-issue advocate;
  4. myself.

McKenzie Angels are generally supportive – especially in the public gallery of court rooms – rather than active in terms of writing or presenting submissions to courts.

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Admin Court, Court of Appeal, HM Government, Master of the Rolls Office, Public Interest Advocacy, Right of Audience, Royal Courts of Justice, Secrecy Family Courts, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice, Treasury Solicitor's Office | 2 Comments

@MoJ Eradicating the needs for #McKenzieFriends? Our response to the Lord Chief Justice’s consultation

16 05 26 ConsultationReforming the courts’ approach to McKenzie Friends

This response to the consultation goes beyond the scope of questions posed, as this is written on behalf of an unestimable number of Courts’ Victims and McKenzie Friends with a variety of experiences in and out of courts.

I am a systems analyst who used to diagnose software at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research in Geneva, publish 32 websites and petitions as Voices for the Voiceless[1] and have played many roles as McKenzie Friend. This includes the receipt of ‘gagging orders’ faked by local councils.

More recently, assisting a mother to get her children returned and protecting other child victims at risk, led to what we have been campaigning against and Harriet Harman MP alerted Parliament in 2006 to: 200 parents a year are imprisoned in secrecy![2]

Hence I am writing not only as an advocate of Children’s Rights, but also as a victim of Human Rights violation due to court secrecy – from personal experience of threats of imprisonment and the reality of arrests and prosecution.

Replacing the term ‘McKenzie Friend’ or eradicating the need for McKenzie Friends? Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Master of the Rolls Office, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 4 Comments

#McKenzieFriends under the Looking Glass of supporting whom: the Court or Litigants in Person?

quote-if-you-can-t-explain-it-simply-you-don-t-understand-it-well-enough-albert-einstein-563651Submission from Deborah Mahmoudieh as a member of the Association of McKenzie Friends and McKenzie Angels in relation to present proposals for government reforms on the presence and practice of McKenzie Friends in UK courts and society:

Terminology: Should the term ‘McKenzie Friend’ should be updated to something that is easier to understand, like ‘Court Supporter’.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The term ‘McKenzie Friend’ has its roots in British legal history and refers to a specific legal case: 1970 case McKenzie v McKenzie: “In that case, the husband was representing himself and wanted the help of someone who was not legally qualified in the English Courts. His request was refused. However on appeal, it was determined that having moral support in Court was part of being entitled to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights. Any such assistants/supporters are therefore now referred to as ‘McKenzie Friends’.” Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, General, Master of the Rolls Office, Public Interest Advocacy, Strengthening the Association, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 4 Comments

@MoJGovUK Reforming the Courts’ Approach to #McKenzieFriends – first two submissions

16 05 16 ConsultationIt is an interesting sign of our times:

Before we submit our text in the name of the Association of McKenzie Friends to, here is:

  1. Natasha Phillips’ contribution of three salient points on her excellent blog Researching Reform;
  2. a McKenzie Friend’s text who wishes to remain anonymous and repeats all questions to be answered.

These are thus two good models / templates for you to submit your own response, or maybe just ‘general’ points.

Master of the Rolls Private Office
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

Dear Sir/Madam


I am writing to make representations regarding the “Reforming the Court’s Approach to McKenzie Friends – A Consultation”, currently being undertaken by the Judiciary Department of the Ministry of Justice.

My responses are under the question headings as set out in the consultation paper. Continue reading

Posted in Master of the Rolls Office, Right of Audience, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 3 Comments

@coe @EU #EU Kids’ best interests must come first in cross-border custody cases, urge #MEPs


16 04 28 EU Press ReleaseForwarded from the Press Service of the EU Parliament:

Press release – 28-04-2016

Plenary session / Citizens’ rights / Justice and home affairs

Kids’ best interests must come first in cross-border custody cases, urge MEPs

It is children who pay the price when EU member states fail to cooperate and protect children’s best interests in legal proceedings such as cross-border parental custody disputes and adoption decisions, Parliament points out in a non-binding resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs want specialised chambers within EU countries family courts to ensure more swiftly processed transnational cases.

“There is a need for more cooperation in family matters with cross-border aspects. Our aim is not to impose a single vision of how to handle family conflicts or deal with child welfare issues, but to ensure that the freedom of persons within the Union works in practice, also when it is related to family matters”, said Cecilia…

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@EU #EU Safeguarding Children’s Right across Europe: from Petitioning EU Parliament to Voting on a Resolution

I guess it can be called citizen’s democracy in action. Here’s the chronological development:

    1. Our petition to the UK Parliament regarding Children Placed in Foster Care, put forward by former MP John Hemming yielded no response.
    2. Instead, I am now one of so far four ‘activists’ [Police calls us ‘members of a protest group’] who have been persecuted and prosecuted by UK authorities in our pursuits of being a voice for Children Screaming to be Heard. Two of us face a jury trial on 11 July – potentially committing us to prison. My ‘crime’ was to publish this blog post – in everybody’s view a clear ‘stitch-up’ between Police and CPS.
    1. our collective petition was asking for the Abolition of Adoptions without Parental Consent – presented in six minutes of passion, when accompanied by 30 parents on 19 March 2014 – and quite rationally to a newly elected Committee on 11 November 2014;
    2. six individual petitions related to the violation of the right to language, religion and culture;
    3. six more petitions concern the abusive placement of children;
    4. many more petitions are on the data base of the Petitions Committee from many countries – in the spirit of preaching the “best interest” of children but not practicing it.
    1. members of the Petitions Committee had already gone on ‘fact finding visits’ to Denmark and Germany;
    2. eight members visited London on 05/06 November 2015;
    3. these MEPs produced a 15-page report based on the 13 petitions;
    4. a Working Group to focus on Children’s Right was established within the Petitions Committee.
    1. MEPs belong to one of eight political groups – the equivalent of parties;
    2. Questions with Oral Answer were prepared for the EU Commission and for the EU Council;
    3. a Motion for Resolution was written across all political groups;
    4. the topic got on the Agenda for a Plenary Debate: Point 20.
  5. Pavel SvobodaThe PLENARY DEBATE on 27 AprilCecilia Wikstrom
    1. was introduced by the Chair of the LEGAL Committee Pavel Svoboda MEP and the Chair of the PETITIONS Committee Cecilia Wikstrom MEP;
    2. it took one hour with contributions by 27 MEPs from 18 countries;
    3. here’s the video recording with the names of the speakers. [On Windows 7 I need to use Internet Explorer to view it with Media Player.]
  6. VOTING on 28 April
    1. the Motion for a Resolution to be voted on [point 5] with single majority;
    2. the 28 action points and recommendations.
    1. Point 28:  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and the parliaments of the Member States.

Please note also the reference to an EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child!

Posted in EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, EU Commission, EU Parliament, Forced Adoption, Petition, Petitioning, Petitions Committee, Public Interest Advocacy, Stolen Children of the UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

@MoJGovUK #Victims #McKenzieFriends and #LitigantsInPerson Unite! Consultation re Courts’ Approach to Lay Legal Help and Advocacy

Victims Unite!

15 09 10 Belinda HeaderSince I met victims of white collar crimes who came to meetings of the Forum for Stable Currencies in Westminster, I’ve learned that we have three battle fronts:

  1. the victims of white collar crimes and criminals;
  2. their hope to get justice as Litigants in Person (LiPs) who ‘do it alone’, because they had terrible experiences with lawyers and / or courts or other ‘professionals’;
  3. as McKenzie Friends who are also referred to as ‘Friend of the Court’ or ‘amicus curiae’ in the US or ‘Litigant Friend’:
    • I had to flee UK jurisdiction after I had helped the mother of the two whistleblower kids which has caused tremendous financial distress and personal injury, resulting in the current threat of imprisonment after an arrest without Search or Arrest warrant – by forcing entry into my flat after midnight; next hearing in Blackfriars Court on 07 April as the Ham and High reports

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@BarnetCouncil No Costs to pay in the case of Melissa Laird! #McKenzieFriends

16 02 25 Chief Red EagleNO COSTS TO PAY in what began as the Melissa Laird case, when we tried to prevent her from being deported – without her son – and without an oral hearing that had been scheduled…!!!

Just the barrister who’ll send us only a ‘small invoice’!

He says Melissa should get a judgment from the US to get her son returned to her by Barnet Council!

This picture is one of her spiritual encouragements she keeps sending me. This time with ‘Good Luck!’

What sighs of relief!!!

Belinda McKenzie, McKenzie Friend by name and by nature, said “money well spent”. Her personal email to all the supporters whose email addresses she has gathered during her campaigning efforts is on this blog. Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Barnet Council, Forced Adoption, HM Government, Judicial Review, Prison Visits, Public Interest Advocacy, Secrecy Family Courts, Social Services, Stolen Children of the UK, Treasury Solicitor's Office | 16 Comments

@UKHomeOffice @MoJGovUK @cpsuk #McKenzie News

16 02 20 ChiefDear All


Just to let you know, in case any within orbit might be interested to come along, that Sabine and I/the Association of McKenzie Friends are up in front of Mrs Justice Simler in the ROYAL COURTS OF JUSTICE, ADMIN COURT, THURSDAY 25 FEBRUARY. 2 hours have been allocated to the hearing but we don’t as yet know the time (the usual ploy to minimise the number of supporters in the courtroom, no doubt).

The issue basically is whether McKenzie Friends should be charged costs for assisting in litigants’ cases. The Treasury Solicitor is trying to get £2000 out of us for helping Melissa Laird, our US mum marooned in HMP Holloway alongside Gloria Musa in 2011-13, pursue a Judicial Review and avoid deportation back to the US while her then 5 year-old boy remained in the care of Barnet Council. (Yes, that Council and that judge yet again…).

She/we were unsuccessful and she was summarily put on a Virgin Atlantic flight on the morning of 12 September 2013 and dumped in Washington Dulles Airport in her wheelchair (she’d been roughed up in Holloway) without money or documents. The $200 I rushed over to Heathrow for her on the morning of her flight of course hardly went anywhere and had to be topped up several times over the following weeks. She was still living in the airport in by now freezing temperatures in December… Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, EU Parliament, Public Interest Advocacy, Stolen Children of the UK | Tagged , | 2 Comments