In Re H (A Minor) (Chambers Proceedings: Mckenzie Friend): CA 6 May 1997

A father sought ex parte, permission to appeal against orders in the county court. The first had refused to allow him to have a McKenzie friend in an application for contact to his daughter. The Recorder had taken the view that because the proceedings were in chambers it was inappropriate to have anyone other than the parties and the lawyers present.
Held: Leave was given. It was proper for the court to allow a McKenzie friend for a litigant in person to help in chambers as in open court.
Ward LJ said: ‘The father seeks leave to appeal against that part of the recorder’s order which excluded his McKenzie Friend. I would easily come to the conclusion, not only that that was arguable, but that it was probably plainly wrong. The recorder ought not to have taken the view that a McKenzie friend should be removed, even if the matter proceeds in chambers as a matter affecting a child. Provided the McKenzie friend does not more than a McKenzie friend is entitled to do, that is to sit and advise and quietly to offer help, I for my part can see no objection to that whatever. I note with approval that when the matter next came to the court before his Honour Judge Paul Clarke the judge correctly and promptly , without question, permitted the presence of the friend who was then there to assist the father.’
Ward LJ, Millett LJ
Times 06-May-1997, [1997] EWCA Civ 1436, [1997] 2 FLR 423
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedO and others (Children); In re O (Children), In re W-R (a Child), In re W (Children) CA 22-Jun-2005
In each case litigants in person had sought to be allowed to have the assistance and services of a Mackenzie friend in children cases. In one case, the court had not allowed confidential documents to be disclosed to the friend.
Held: The . .
CitedRe M (Contact: Family Assistance: McKenzie Friend) CA 1999
A father appealed a refual of consent for him to be allowed assistance from a McKenzie Friend.
Held: He should have been allowed assistance on the contact and other applications. It was ‘a matter of regret’ that the father had been denied the . .
CitedRegina v Bow County Court, Ex Parte Pelling CA 17-Dec-1999
Access to the court given to a McKenzie Friend should normally be given in matters in open court, but when it came to matters being heard in chambers, the judge had discretion as to who he would hear. The right is in any event that of the litigant, . .
Not bindingRegina v Bow County Court Ex parte Pelling QBD 8-Mar-1999
Mr Pelling sought to act as a McKenzie friend. On being refused he sought judicial review of he decision to exclude him.
Held: Review was refused. A McKenzie friend has himself no locus to challenge a decision by a county court judge not to . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 April 2021; Ref: scu.81919