Encyclopaedia on Family and The Law

Summary of developments surrounding media reporting in the Family Courts,  by Gill Phillips, Director of Editorial Legal Services, Guardian News & Media Limited.

Transparency and reporting of the Family Courts: summary of developments 

March 2014

Tags: Media Reporting, Transparency

Following a critical report by the Parliamentary Constitutional Affairs Committee, in 2002-3 about the reporting of, inter alia,  the Family Courts, the government issued a consultation paper in 2006: Confidence and confidentiality: Improving transparency and privacy in family courts.

However it remained the case that until April 2009, reporting on cases in the family courts was extremely limited; proceedings in the county court were invariably held in private.

Following media concern and consultation, in 2009 the then Government introduced changes to the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, allowing the accredited members of the media to attend family court proceedings. The rules on media reporting, however, were not relaxed, and the press were not allowed…

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