A legal adviser is a person holding a current practising certificate under the Law Practitioners Act 1982 who represents a particular prisoner, or a member of the armed forces representing a service prisoner at Court Martial or other proceedings.
A “Mackenzie” friend is a person assisting the prisoner, and who is not legally qualified. They are not entitled to the same rights of access and communication as a legal adviser, but are entitled to the same rights of access and communication as a private person. However, a “Mackenzie” friend may be permitted greater access to a prisoner, limited to visits and phone calls, if the prison director considers there is proven and genuine need for the assistance, and that is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.
An accused or remand prisoner may receive visits from a legal adviser for:
an appeal or application for leave to appeal against any criminal conviction, order, or sentence.
a defence to a criminal charge or a plea in mitigation, or
where a prisoner is detained under the Immigration Act 1987, any process or proceeding under that Act.
A remand prisoner is a prisoner detained only by reason of the fact that he / she is awaiting trial or is on remand in custody during the trial or before sentence.
An accused prisoner means a prisoner detained only by reason of the fact that he / she is awaiting trial or is on remand in custody during the trial. It does not include a prisoner who is on remand awaiting sentence.
As far as practical in the circumstances, the prison director must facilitate contact between a remand or accused prisoner and any adviser or assistant (other than another prisoner) helping the prisoner prepare his or her defence or plea.
V.02.R02.02 Visits by legal advisers
The legal adviser of a prisoner may enter the prison at any time agreed to by the prison director, if the purpose of the visit is to discuss the prisoner’s legal affairs. If the prison director does not agree with a particular time a legal adviser wishes to visit, the prison director must nominate an alternative time.
To preserve confidentiality, visits between legal advisers and prisoners:
must be held out of the hearing of any one else
may also be held out of sight of any other person if both parties agree, and
if there is a suitable facility for the meeting available.
However, a prisoner may request that other persons to be present such as a social worker, chaplain, parent etc and any legal assistant / clerk that a lawyer might wish to have present.