Transparency in the family courts
Transparency in the family courts

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Transparency in the family courts
  • Purpose of the guidance
  • Judgments that must ordinarily be published
  • Judgments that may be published
  • Jigsaw identification
  • To which judgments does the guidance apply?
  • European Convention on Human Rights
  • How will parties in published judgments be referred to?
  • Who will carry out the anonymisation of the judgment?
  • Access to reported judgments
  • more

The President of the Family Division issued Practice Guidance (Transparency in the Family Courts) [2014] Lexis Citation 3 on 16 January 2014 regarding the publication of judgments following a consultation. The guidance took effect from 3 February 2014. The President also issued separate guidance regarding the Court of Protection. See also Practice Note: Media access to family proceedings and in particular: Media access to family proceedings — Case law. In August 2014 the President issued a further consultation. The issues on which views were sought were:

  1. the impact of increased transparency on children and families in the immediate, short and long term, eg the risk of a child in later life coming across an anonymised judgment about their background and learning details of it for the first time

  2. the impact of increased transparency on local authorities and other professionals

  3. any changes in the level and quality of news and reporting about the family justice system

  4. whether any steps can be taken to enhance the listing of cases in the Family Division and the Family Court so court lists can be made more informative as to the subject matter of the cases (but not by naming the parties)

  5. the disclosure to the media of certain categories of document subject to appropriate restrictions and safeguards, and

  6. on a preliminary, pre-consultation, basis, the possible