Provincial Court of BC welcomes “McKenzie friends” in court


With their recent adoption of support person guidelines, the Provincial Court of BC has acknowledged how important it is for a self-represented litigant to have a helpmate in court. Also known as courtroom companions or Mckenzie friends, support persons can take notes, keep documents organized, and even make quiet suggestions. Perhaps most importantly, simply having a friend or family member at your side can provide much-needed emotional and moral support. Unless a judge has a good reason to order otherwise, the presence of a support person is now accepted without special permission being necessary. BC’s Provincial Court is the first court in Canada to formally recognize support persons by outlining rules about their role.

We’ve created a new fact sheet Bring a support person to Provincial Court for the Family Law in BC website about who can be a support person and what they can do.