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EDM (Early Day Motion) 795: tabled on 11 February 2015

Tabled in the 2014-15 session.

This motion has been signed by 23 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

As this motion is using historical data, we may not have the record of the original ordering, in which case signatories are listed alphabetically.

Motion text

That this House notes that following the cuts in legal aid provision there has been an increase in people representing themselves in court with the assistance of a McKenzie Friend; understands that a McKenzie Friend is usually a non-lawyer and is often a friend or colleague of the litigant in person, who accompanies them to a court hearing for the purpose of assisting them in matters such as taking notes, organising documents and quietly making suggestions; recognises that McKenzie Friends can be a helpful presence for those experiencing court proceedings for the first time; believes, however, that they are a poor substitute for proper legal advice and representation from a qualified lawyer; is concerned that vulnerable families and individuals could be taken advantage of by unqualified people who charge for their services or who may have a political agenda; is alarmed that professionals report anecdotal evidence of a recent incident of a paid McKenzie Friend, who acted for a number of vulnerable women, who was subsequently found to have a substantial criminal record; and calls on the Government to create a suitable framework for the oversight and regulation of McKenzie Friends.

The first 6 Members who have signed to support the motion are the sponsors. The primary sponsor is generally the person who tabled the motion and has responsibility for it. The date shown is when the Member signed the motion.

In addition to the sponsors, the following Members have signed to support the motion.

There are no withdrawn signatures for this motion.