Showing Your own Documents to your McKenzie Friend?
Does Self Represented Litigant Need Judge’s Permission to show his own documents to his McKenzie Friend?
In England, the familycaught is quite a lot more formal and restrictive on allowing families to solve problems at a reasonable cost. Most UK lawyers milk their clients much harder than most NZ lawyers. Some NZ lawyers equal the very worst of UK lawyers, when it comes to bleeding their own customer dry.
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
UK judges vary a great deal, in their willingness to allow self represented litigants to have a McKenzie Friend in court, to assist them. Similarly in NZ, judges vary considerably. Before contemplating any caught action, find out who the local “judges” are and what their idiosyncracies are and whether these are likely to affect your case.
The following judgement does bring out the issues quite well. It is sobering reading:
Neutral Citation Number:  EWCA Civ 759
Case No: B4/2004/2341&2693, B4/2005/0341
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE
COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
(1) ON APPEAL FROM SOUTHAMPTON COUNTY COURT
HIS HONOUR JUDGE MILLIGAN
(2) ON APPEAL FROM THE PRINCIPAL REGISTRY OF THE FAMILY DIVISION
HIS HONOUR JUDGE COOK
(3) ON APPEAL FROM THE BRIGHTON COUNTY COURT
HER HONOUR JUDGE NORRIE
Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE THORPE
LORD JUSTICE WALL
In the matter of the children of
Mr O’Connell, Mr Whelan and Mr Watson
The three Appellants Appeared in Person
Meena Gill (instructed by Children & Families Law Firm — Solicitors) for the Respondent in Mr Whelan’s case
Duncan Watson (instructed by Hamnett, Osborne and Tisshaw — Solicitors) for the Respondent in Mr Watson’s case
Robin Spon-Smith (instructed by CAFCASS legal) — Advocate to the Court
Hearing date : 28th April 2005
HTML VERSION OF JUDGMENT
Crown Copyright Â©
[As publication of copyrighted material is specifically against the rules of this site, this content has been removed by the moderator]
Sobering reading I think not. This a judgment I keep on hand but have yet to have the neccesity to use it as always the Court has seen sense and allow me whatever I desire. It has once taken 3 applications for disclosure of a s133 report to be made available to me as McKenzie Friend but I did get here in the end.
Rather and esoteric matter for discusion here Murray. I refer chaps to paragraphs 132 – 138 which contain the important decision from the Law Lords in the UK.
Having skimmed over but not read every word of this appeal judgement I drew the following tentative observations:
a) The Family Court judges and counsel for the mothers in these cases referred to the fathers as having dismissed their lawyers in order to self-represent, in one case even though the father had an income and could afford a lawyer. One can’t help suspecting that the poor treatment of the fathers involved a degree of punishment against them for not employing lawyers.
b) It’s good to see some appeals against Family Court decisions being allowed in Britain. My understanding is that in NZ appeals rarely succeed concerning Family Court proceedings.
c) Although I don’t think many people will read the entire judgement posted here, it could be a very useful resource of international caselaw for NZ litigants who are given a hard time over McKenzie friends.
d) Thanks for posting it Murray. You might however wish to edit it so that the entire judgement is presented only once rather than twice through.
e) Have some pity on lawyers who have to read (and write) screeds of this stuff to keep up with caselaw.
I have tried to appeal a corrupt Family Court ruling for several years only to be fobbed off by High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.I have another plan to seek justice.
Has anyone succeeded in getting an appeal heard and a family court decision overturned? I’d be very interested in knowing the stats of that