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Commons Justice Committee examines transparency in family court system

The House of Commons Justice Committee has continued its inquiry into open justice with two evidence sessions on 11 January focusing on family courts, transparency and court reporting.~

In the opening session, the Committee explored the findings and conclusions of the report Confidence and Confidentiality: Transparency in the Family Courts with the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane. It examined how the culture and processes of Family Court can better support transparency while ensuring the interests of the child are protected. It also considered how key recommendations, such as improving media access to Family Court proceedings, might be implemented in practice.

In the second session the Committee questioned John Battle, Chair of the Media Lawyers Association, and Dr Natalie Byrom, Director of Research at The Legal Education Foundation, about the challenges of securing open justice in a changing media environment. It considered too how accessibility can be improved, both in terms of facilitating court reporting and ensuring availability of data and court judgments.

To watch the sessions, click here.

For more information concerning the Committee's inquiry into open justice, click here.

For the minutes of the first meeting of the Transparency Implementation Group, chaired by the President of the Family Division and held on 15 December 2021, click here.