McKenzie Friend: The Do’s & Don’ts That One Has to Follow in UK Courts

Many people in the UK prefer to take the guidance of a McKenzie Friend to help them through the legal procedure in court. They are people who assist litigants in the court of law by providing moral support. They are not required to have any legal training or professional legal qualification, and they can help the litigants find the correct papers, take notes, and give advice on a multitude of things, including what questions should be asked to the witnesses etc. However, they can neither speak for the litigant nor run the case on their behalf. As such, people who choose to represent themselves in the court of law can solicit the services of an expert McKenzie Friend in Oxford, as it can prove to be beneficial in the long run.

What Are The Services That McKenzie Friends Can Provide? 

1. Privy to Information

The litigant can communicate important information regarding their cases, like evidence filed, to the McKenzie Friend and obtain legal advice or more details on the proceedings. The legal representatives opposing the case must ensure that all the documents get served in proper time so that the litigants can get enough time to seek assistance from the McKenzie Friend regarding their content before any Advocate’s meetings or hearings.

2. Showing the Right Way

If a litigant cannot ascertain the right way forward in their situation, they can consult a McKenzie Friend in Oxford. They can provide information and help choose the ideal way of approaching court matters in such circumstances.

3. Drafting Witness Statements & Position Statements

A good advisor can help the litigant draft statements of all sorts, be it relatively simple or quite complex.

4. Offering Quiet Advice & Support in the Court Regarding the Case

McKenzie Friends can provide advice quietly on every aspect of the case in court. And under certain circumstances, they can even speak for the litigant in court, provided the judge grants the Right of Audience to them.

5. Taking Notes

For people representing themselves in court, these advisors can help them take down detailed and informative notes.

6. Providing Moral Support As a Friend

The legal procedures are usually very lengthy, quite tiring, and most importantly, emotionally draining. However, thanks to the McKenzie Friends, the litigants do not have to go through that alone. They can provide moral support as well as valuable advice when informed second opinions are needed.

What Are the Things That McKenzie Friends Are Prohibited From Doing? 

1. Acting As an Agent to the Proceedings

In all legal matters, the litigants must speak or act for themselves, and a McKenzie Friend cannot do it for them.

2. Managing Any Aspect of the Case Outside the Court

These advisors are prohibited from acting or signing any document on the litigant’s behalf.

3. Addressing the Court

McKenzie Friends are not permitted to speak or advocate for the litigant in court, and they can do so only if the Rights of Audience are granted.

An accomplished McKenzie Friend in Oxford can provide helpful moral support to many litigants. However, if the McKenzie Friend turns out to be incompetent, that cannot be the reason for a re-trial. Therefore, it is imperative to choose the right McKenzie Friend who is knowledgeable and experienced enough to give helpful advice and much-needed moral support.