More and more parents and grandparents are choosing to represent themselves in court. Their reasons vary. Some have limited financial means but do not meet the criteria for legal aid. Some cannot find a legal aid solicitor. Others simply cannot afford to pay for a solicitor due to the current recession. According to the Government's own impact assessment, a further 50,000 cases will lose legal aid from April 2013 as a result of Government cutbacks.
Of the parent who represent themselves, many choose to have a McKenzie Friend accompany them in court. A McKenzie Friend often has experience of the court and legal process, can quietly advise the parent, take notes and offer moral support. In some instances, the court will allow the McKenzie Friend to speak on the parent's behalf. We have guides which will explain what a McKenzie Friend may and may not do, and also our McKenzie Friend 101 to assist you in choosing a McKenzie Friend to help you.