More than a third of cases now unrepresented

October 1, 2017 2 comments

family law

No less than 36 per cent of all family court cases now feature unrepresented litigants on both sides, new figures from the Ministry of Justice reveal. A total of 13,029 new private law cases – i.e. disputes between individuals – were launched between April and June, three per cent more than in the same period…

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Judiciary to reconsider fee-charging McKenzie Friends

September 15, 2017 1 comment

McKenzie Friends

The Judiciary is to reconsider a ban on the charging of fees by McKenzie Friends after a consultation on the plans attracted critical feedback. The plan dates back to February last year, when the Office of the Lord Chief Justice launched a consultation into the role the informal advisors known as McKenzie Friends should play…

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An annual report, a transgender child, and more

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September 15, 2017 0 comments

family law

A week in family law In his final annual report before retirement, the Lord Chief Justice reviewed developments in family justice over the year. Of the sustained increase in public law cases, coming at a time of static judicial resources, he says: “The President of the Family Division has described the situation as a crisis,…

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Family law in 2016: the bad bits

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December 21, 2016 1 comment

family law

It is traditional at this time of year to write a review of all that has gone on over the previous twelve months. On this occasion I thought I would try something a little different from the usual chronology of important events. Instead of just trawling through those events in a couple of posts I…

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McKenzie Friends ‘should be renamed’

June 13, 2016 9 comments

family law

McKenzie Friends should be renamed ‘supporters’ and banned from collecting fees, the Law Society and Bar Council have both claimed. In a joint response to a consultation on the future of these courtroom advisors, the two organisations claimed the current term risks confusing unrepresented litigants in person. The term actually originates in a 1970 divorce,…

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‘No case for banning fee-charging McKenzie Friends’

May 31, 2016 3 comments

family life

There is no justification for banning fee-charging McKenzie Friends, the Legal Services Board (LSB) has claimed. It claims a total ban on courtroom advisors who charge fees is not justified by the evidence in a newly published response to a proposal by the Judicial Executive Board (JEB).  It raises three specific objections to a proposed…

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