The McKenzie Friend: Choosing and Presenting a Courtroom CompanionNSRLP
NSRLP is proud to present its latest SRL guide, The McKenzie Friend: Choosing and Presenting a Courtroom Companion written by Judith DaSilva and Julie Macfarlane.
A “McKenzie Friend” (MF) is a support person who sits with a SRL at the front of the courtroom. A MF cannot address the court, but they can organize and hand the SRL their documents as needed, take notes for review after the hearing, and above all help a SRL to stay calm and centred . MFs are used widely in courts in the UK and Australia, but the concept is relatively new in Canada. In this new NSRLP guide, Judith and Julie suggest ways to evaluate what help a support person might give and how to pick the “right” person, as well as how to present a request for a MF to a judge.
“With their clear, straight-forward guide to choosing and presenting a courtroom companion, Judith DaSilva and Julie Macfarlane will help thousands of people to assess whether they need a McKenzie friend, how to choose a McKenzie friend, and how to explain their needs to judges. Equal service to self-represented litigants is the next frontier in making Canada’s justice system fair to all.”
David Merner, Executive Director, Dispute Resolution Office, British Columbia Ministry of Justice