Transparency in the family courts

It's important for both the public and the media to have confidence in the family justice system.  They should be able to see that it’s fair and accountable at all levels, and to understand the processes involved.

The president of the Family Division has issued the following guidance with the aim of providing transparency while continuing to protect the parties involved.

Practice Guidance: Family Court – anonymisation guidance

This guidance deals with two aspects of anonymisation and avoiding identifying children in judgments available to the public:

  • information in judgments that might reveal personal details about a child or where they live
  • the treatment of sexually explicit descriptions of the sexual abuse of children

See Practice Guidance: Family Court – anonymisation guidance on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.

Guidance as to reporting in the family courts

Reporters attending cases in the family courts or the Family Division of the High Court can apply to change the reporting restrictions of a case.

This guidance is to help the court, the parties and the media in these situations.

See Guidance to reporting in the Family Courts on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.

The Transparency Review

Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division, is reviewing the arrangements which regulate access to and reporting of information on proceedings in the Family Court.

A call for evidence has been issued for anyone wishing to submit material for consideration. This will close on 30 April 2020.

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