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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

01 MAR 2011

Can the Press be Trusted?

His Honour Judge Clifford Bellamy

Designated Family Judge for Warwickshire and Coventry

As a solicitor, I quite enjoyed my occasional contact with the media - Joshua Rozenberg on the telephone; an ITV film crew in my garden; it was heady stuff. When I became a judge I thought I had left all of that behind me. For most of my 15 year judicial career I have been able to keep my head well below the media radar. Until 2010, my only brush with the media was in 1996 when, as a District Judge in Leeds, I dealt with an assessment of damages hearing at which the jazz singer George Melly appeared as an expert witness - wearing a bright purple suit and matching hat. He had been called to give evidence about surrealist art - or, more particularly, about the work of Craig Richards and the Non-Euclidean movement. Suffice to say that the day after the hearing the case was treated to a half-page spread in The Times.

2010 was a much more challenging year. Two family cases I presided over received quite a bit of publicity. That has given me a different perspective on the debate about openness and transparency in the Family Courts.

To read the rest of this article, see March [2011] Family Law journal.

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