Partner Deborah Jeff comments on the news that, from today, journalists and legal bloggers will be allowed to report on cases taking place in 19 of the 43 family courts across England and Wales, in the Evening Standard.
"The extension of the pilot scheme is a welcome development, on the condition that the privacy of court users is respected and guaranteed.
"The family courts have for too long been shrouded in secrecy, giving major cause for concern regarding judicial decisions. That being said, it must not be forgotten that family law cases differ from all other litigation because the most intimate details of a person’s private life – such as their children and their financial circumstances – are put before the court. It is therefore crucial that anonymity is ensured with transparency orders where required.
"Transparency in the family courts has long been a polarising issue, with impassioned arguments arising from both camps. I welcome a comprehensive exploration of how the courts can report the details of family cases whilst balancing the privacy of court users, their children and their financial affairs."
Deborah's comments were published in the Evening Standard, 29 January 2024.