29 October, 2018
From October 2018, the government and the judiciary are commencing a 9-month long pilot scheme which will see lawyers being permitted entry to private family law hearings for the purposes of blogging.
Sir James Munby, the former family division president, highlighted the need for greater transparency in the family courts, and called for change. Now, lawyers holding a valid practising certificate (or working for a higher education institution or educational charity), can attend the family court with proof of identification to gain entry to hearings, and see first-hand how the system works on a daily basis.
The Tranparency Project, a charity which aims to make family law and the courts clearer, have long recognised the need for greater transparency. The charity campaigned for bloggers to be permitted into family court hearings, and are pleased their proposal is being piloted. It has been suggested that blogs on private proceedings will help give the public an idea of the sorts of decisions being made on a daily basis by the judiciary, as oppose to only those involving celebrities or unique facts that make the newspaper headlines.
It is no doubt a daunting prospect for both applicants and respondents attending the family courts, even more so for those litigants in person. It is hoped that legal bloggers can help provide the general public with a better understanding of how the family justice system works in reality.
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