Resolution publishes its response to the President’s Family Court transparency consultation
On 15th August the President of the Family Division launched his consultation on increasing transparency in the Family Court. Take a look at our earlier article for information on the consultation and how you can take part.
Individuals and organisations were invited to comment on the President’s ideas for improvements and to submit their own.
Resolution, the organisation of family lawyers, has published its own response to the consultation.
The response welcomes the suggestion that Parliament should have a say in the proposals to widen media access to proceedings within the Family Court
The response states that Resolution members have “little confidence that the media can be relied upon to report what is of genuine legitimate interest and importance, rather than reporting what they consider to be of interest”. It also questions whether children and adults involved in proceedings will have the confidence to give full and frank evidence:
“It is likely a child would withhold important information from their representative or the professionals in the case for fear of it becoming public knowledge. This could also impact on a child or adult party’s willingness to engage in essential expert assessments.”
Resolution has serious concerns about increasing the number of judgments published in that it would make it easier to identify participants in cases, particularly worrying where very sensitive emotional situations are involved, and the potential risk of compromising any linked criminal proceedings.
Were judgments to be released to the media and public Resolution would want to see standards and guidelines issued to ensure that they were correctly anonymised, specifically excluding names and geographical references to mitigate the risk of identification.
You can read the full Resolution response here.
How to take part yourself
The consultation is open to all interested parties, whether legally qualified or not. You can read the consultation here and email your response to Andrew Shaw: firstname.lastname@example.org.