Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division
26 February 2016
On the last occasion when you kindly asked me to speak at this splendid event, I noted that the pace of reform had slowed. Our primary task last year was retrenchment and consolidation – making sure that all the reforms were properly embedded and that there was no backsliding. Today I have to tell you that we are now moving forward into a new phase of reform; reform so fundamental that in retrospect the great reforms implemented in April 2014 will seem modest in comparison.
Some of these are reforms which are already in progress – even if that progress has been much less rapid than I would have wished. In relation to Transparency, Dr Julia Brophy of Oxford University, together with NYAS and, very importantly and most revealingly, a group of young people, have produced a valuable research report analysing some of the effects of the Guidance I issued in January 2014. That work is now being supplemented with a further short research project by Dr Brophy. At the same time, Dr Julie Doughty of Cardiff University is undertaking some parallel and equally important research. I hope to be able, within the next few months, to issue for consultation draft Guidance on how better to anonymise judgments so as to minimise the risk of ‘jig-saw’ identification.