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Family Courts open up to media from today

New rules in force from 27 April 2009 allowing accredited media to attend family court hearings

The new rules allowing accredited media to attend hearings in the family courts come into force today. Today we have published a news feature from Chris McWatters of 5KBW on the views of campaigners and the legal professions as well as brief summary of the new rules prepared by Adam Wolanski of 5RB.

However these changes are certainly not the end of the story. Jack Straw announced on Radio Four’s Today programme this morning that these changes are very much a first step and that further primary legislation could follow to bring the rules into line with those operating in the Youth Courts. Andrew Greensmith, Resolution's spokesman on the issue, was also featured on the programme and outlined their proposal that the Government "set up a ‘Family Courts’ Inspectorate’, made up predominantly of lay people, which could act as an effective guardian of standards in the family courts." You can listen to the interview again on the BBC website.

The articles published on Family Law Week and links to the related Practice Directions can be found below: