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Re D (a child)

Where a litigant in person had sought to be represented by a McKenzie friend, the court could only grant that right of audience in exceptional circumstances and after careful consideration. An argument that the McKenzie friend was able to put the applicant's case better than she could did not amount to exceptional circumstances

1 April 2005

M applied for permission for her McKenzie friend to represent her at the hearing of her application for permission to appeal. The underlying proceedings had related to contact in which an adverse order had been made against M. She had accordingly sought permission to appeal and an ex parte oral hearing had taken place. At that hearing M had been granted permission for her McKenzie friend (X) to represent her. The application was ultimately adjourned for a further hearing to take place on notice to the respondent. At that adjourned hearing M had sought to have X represent her again, however the respondent had opposed permission being granted on the basis that both parties were litigants in person and it would have been unfair, particularly because X was a solicitor, albeit a struck-off solicitor. HELD: Application refused. It was important for the court to maintain fairness and parity, particularly where each party appeared in person. Furthermore, the guidance given by the president...

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