McKenzie friend

Court proceedings and Legal Process
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McKenzie friend

Postby Gravy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:58 pm

Everything I've been able to find regarding the role and conduct of a McKenzie friend states unequivocally that the McKenzie friend may only provide quiet advice to a self-represented accused/litigant. The McKenzie friend is not able to make submissions or represent the accused.

Then I read this decision. Counsel for the respondent is specifically listed as a McKenzie friend. Paragraph 2 expressly states "(the respondent's) McKenzie Friend informed the court on his behalf, and in his presence...". Clearly, this McKenzie friend is representing the respondent.

My issue and question:
A relative of mine has been charged under s 23 of the Summary Offences Act and is scheduled to appear before a magistrate. This relative is not well educated, very emotional, and liable to completely bollocks up their appearance, let alone act in their own interests. I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I could at least be relatively objective, task focused and am capable of research and good preparation.

I've told the accused to go and get legal advice, but I don't think they have and doubt they will. In the absence of any proper advice, I thought the best strategy would be to plead guilty then make a plea in mitigation. The circumstances are complex with AVOs/family violence intervention orders (or whatever they're called these days) running both ways between the accused and victim.

Is the accused able to seek leave to have a McKenzie friend (me) make submissions on their behalf? Specifically, could we cite St Clair and Holmes v Jamieson as authority in support of the request?

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Re: McKenzie friend

Postby Hardy » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:58 pm

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