‘Professional’ paid McKenzie Friends associated with fathers’ rights groups play on their “uncertainty and sense of victimhood” to attract business, academic research has found, saying that there needed to be a code of conduct and a greater role for law school clinics in their place.
The High Court has imposed an extended civil restraint order on an “obsessional” libel litigant who sent over 100 text messages to the mobile phone of a partner at Pinsent Masons acting for Google UK. She also made complaints to professional bodies.
England and Wales should follow the example of Scotland in banning McKenzie Friends from charging fees, the Judicial Executive Board has proposed. The board also said that McKenzie Friends should be renamed “court supporters”.
The present model for delivering justice in the criminal, family and immigration courts has become “increasingly challenged” and “many parts of the Bar are in severe pain”, the chair of the Bar Standards Board has said. Sir Andrew Burns said he wanted the BSB to become much more of a risk-based regulator.
CourtNav, an online tool designed to help litigants in person fill out court forms, could be offered not only by an advice service based at the High Court but by advice agencies around the country, it has emerged. It won the access to justice through IT award at this week’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards.
Lord Dyson has praised a French online dispute resolution (ODR) website for opening up justice and said he hoped “something similar” would be created in this country.
Emerging countries and large corporations will lead the way on court technology while the UK and USA lag behind, experts at the Global Law Summit in London have predicted just a week after the Civil Justice Council unveiled its blueprint for online dispute resolution.
Surrey law firm Downs has secured a civil restraint order against a litigant in person who launched a series of claims described by a High Court judge as “totally without merit”.
The Court of Appeal highlighted the false economy of the legal aid cuts yesterday after complaining that it had had to research the law on behalf of a litigant in person. It warned of the risk of courts coming to wrong decisions because of the lack of legal assistance.
A group of US-based entrepreneurs claim to have carried out pioneering research which has shown that big commercial firms in the UK are “routinely rehiring poor performing barristers while ignoring the best performers”.