@UKHomeOffice @MoJGovUK first #McKenzieFriends Victory; next challenges ahead

15 09 10 Belinda HeaderDear All


As some may already have heard, we/Association of McKenzie Friends won our case against the Home Office/Treasury Solicitor, having been let off the £2000 charge for so-called ‘wasted costs’ in respect of our persistent litigation on behalf of Melissa Laird in 2014. The question was left hanging in the air though, as to whether we might have been using our ‘client’ or protégé as a vehicle for our own campaigning? For which reason, probably, we were not permitted to claim the costs of the excellent Public Law & Costs barrister, Simon Butler whom we had engaged to fight our corner for us.

But as I told Simon, I had all along been fully prepared to pay his fee in the cause of defending our ‘brand’ and the continued right of lay legal advisers or ‘paralegals’ such as McKenzie Friends not to be arbitrarily or summarily (as it previously appeared to us) penalised for defending our ‘clients’/‘protégés’ interests to the best of our ability and within in the parameters of our traditional remit.

Thanks to our very competent barrister and a benign judge, the outcome of these proceedings represents a civilised and somehow reassuringly ‘British’ compromise, the concerns of all sides having been fully advertised as well as satisfactorily met:

  1. a clear warning has been spelt out to McKenzie Friends not to try the patience of the court from henceforth;
  2. all litigants or participants ‘by proxy’ in litigation, whether lay people or professionals must operate under the same constraints, this is not just about McKenzie Friends;
  3. in this case, a clearer warning needed to have been delivered to us/McKenzie Friends in this case that we were ‘overstepping the mark’ and persuading us to desist; this not having been given when it could have been, we should not be made liable on this occasion;
  4. but, this judicial warning having now been delivered to McKenzie Friends (and others), the court might be less clement in future.

Fair enough, and I who am footing the bill (Sabine after a lifetime of good public works and having since her ‘exile’ last summer been deprived of her UK state pension and DLA is destitute!) feel very relieved that we have survived this tussle with the State not too greatly out of pocket (our kind barrister assured us his bill will be modest) as I have to pay off the rest of my mortgage this spring or lose my house!!

All in all, it feels like money well spent, to have achieved this particular outcome yesterday, and that the role of McKenzie Friends in the justice system has been simultaneously confirmed and clarified.

So we can fight on for victims and justice and above all for the children, forever our overriding concern until all of them are properly protected from all harm in UK and throughout this planet.

To all who expressed their support in so many kind messages and to those who joined us in court 64 RCJ yesterday, as I know many more would have done had you been able –THANK YOU! – your moral support is absolutely what counts in all these battles!


In Neelu’s hearing this morning at Blackfriars Crown Court, the judge decided not to deal with the Application to Dismiss the case on this occasion but to join her and Sabine’s cases together, they being more or less identical. So Sabine’s Plea and Case Management Hearing on 7 March has been transmuted into a Plea & Pre-Trial Hearing for both her and Neelu, to be heard + the Application to Dismiss on Friday 8 April, again at Blackfriars Crown Court. This gives more time to both parties to coordinate their defence and gather the evidence needed to disprove the CPS case, that they intended to intimidate the witnesses or that there was any kind of conspiracy between them to do so.

Have a great weekend and onwards we all go!

Belinda x

PS. Yesterday’s report about the hearing is here.

The Law Gazette writes about our victory:

A day earlier this publication appeared – with lots of comments:


11 thoughts on “@UKHomeOffice @MoJGovUK first #McKenzieFriends Victory; next challenges ahead

  1. Sabine Kurjo McNeill February 27, 2016 at 8:21 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Victims Unite!.

  2. […] Belinda McKenzie, McKenzie Friend by name and by nature, said “money well spent”. Her personal email to all the supporters whose email addresses she has gathered during her campaigning efforts is on this blog. […]

  3. T Birks February 27, 2016 at 8:41 am Reply

    Only with the active support of the people can true Justice and the right of the people prevail. Sitting back silent and submissive, playing the role of the victim takes too long to produce results. Feint heart ne’er won fair lady. We must speak out, justice must not be only for those who can afford it.

  4. colinpeters2 February 27, 2016 at 11:21 am Reply

    ” A very competent barrister and a benign judge”!
    In Gods Holy Name Sabine, these people are not gods!!! They are just ordinary flesh and blood like the rest of us.
    In our meetings you have always impressed me as being articulate and very coherent and more than capable of expressing yourself.
    There is nothing that the barrister could have said that you could not have said equally well.
    It’s all a game, a charade, a farce, begging and scraping to fellow human beings in the hope of getting justice!
    You reference a ‘benign judge’ but In my pursuit of justice I have encountered only hostile judges intent only on covering up for those who have gone before them and protecting the plastic integrity of the ‘system’.
    The law should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.
    Our only man made hope of achieving this is through the restoration of Magna Carta.

    • Sabine Kurjo McNeill February 27, 2016 at 11:27 am Reply

      It’s Belinda who wrote that, not me, Colin.

      • colinpeters2 February 27, 2016 at 11:39 am

        That’s comforting to know Sabine. I still believe that you could have expressed yourself equally well before an IMPARTIAL judge. Is there such a thing?

      • Sabine Kurjo McNeill February 27, 2016 at 11:43 am

        Actually, Colin, my ways of thinking are clearly different. And this ‘legalese’ is something else. I KNOW I would NOT have won. For I would not have had the RESPECT that Simon Butler had from the judge! Likewise from the other barrister.

      • colinpeters2 February 27, 2016 at 12:42 pm

        You would not have won because you would not have been allowed to win Sabine. In the court ‘system’ legalese takes precedence over Common Sense.

      • Sabine Kurjo McNeill February 27, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        !!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. […] we won against the Treasury Solicitors’ Office – now named Government Legal Department – by hiring this excellent Public Law barrister who saw that the reputation and credibility of McKenzie Friends were at stake. […]

  6. Norman Scarth February 27, 2016 at 12:47 pm Reply

    I am in complete agreement with EVERY word written by Colin Peters.
    Especially when he says “There is nothing that the barrister could have said that you could not have said equally well.” Yes, I can understand your REASONS for deciding to hire a barrister (that you KNOW you would NOT have won), but therein lies the heart of the problem!
    Unless you pay ‘protection money’ to the profession (‘small fee’ ??? thought it may be on this occasion) you will NEVER win in our corrupt courts!
    And WHY, articulate as you are, would you NOT have the respect which was shown to the barristers? Because they are ‘all pals together’, that’s why!
    PS: Originally surprised at the obsequious, grovelling tone of the piece above, to learn that it was written by Belinda comes as no surprise. I should have recognised it was not yours.

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