Privacy and Open Justice in the Family Courts - Part 1

05 MAR 2007

Keith Schilling, Senior Partner, Schillings, and Miranda Fisher, Solicitor, Charles Russell LLP. In July 2006 the Consultation Paper Confidence and Confidentiality: Improving Transparency and Privacy in Family Courts, Cm 6886 (TSO, 2006) (the Consultation Paper) was published. The proposals are said to be aimed at removing the secrecy which makes the family justice system difficult to scrutinise and stifles public debate, providing comparable levels of public accountability between the family and criminal courts, and securing the privacy necessary to protect the identity of families and children involved in family court proceedings.

In Part 1 of this article the extent of privacy protection now available under English law and its interaction with other rights is examined. The current rules on attendance in the family courts and the restrictions on publication in family proceedings are considered alongside the proposals for change made in the Consultation Paper. Read the full article in March [2007] Fam Law.

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