Deadline updated: The Transparency Review – The President of the Family Division’s Call for Evidence

FamilyFamily CourtPresident of the Family DivisionReviews

Deadline to respond has been extended to Monday 11 May 2020

Sir Andrew McFarlane, The President of the Family Division, is undertaking a review of the current arrangements which regulate access by journalists and the public to, and the reporting of, information concerning proceedings in the Family Court (‘the Transparency Review’).

The President has invited a small panel to assist him in this task.

The panel members are:

  • Dr Eia Asen (consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist)
  • Anthony Douglas CBE (former chief executive of CAFCASS)
  • Clare Dyer (former Legal Editor of The Guardian)
  • Nicola Shaw CBE (Executive Director of National Grid).

The President has today issued a ‘Call for Evidence’ inviting any person or agency who wishes to submit evidence, advice or other material for consideration within the Transparency Review.

Submissions on the following questions are likely to be of particular value:

– is the line currently drawn correctly between, on the one hand, the need for confidentiality for the parties and children whose personal information may be the subject of proceedings in the Family Court, and, on the other hand, the need for the public to have confidence in the work that these courts undertake on behalf of the State and society?

– if not, what steps should be taken to achieve either greater openness or increased confidentiality?

– any observations on the Practice Guidance: Family Court- Anonymisation Guidance issued by the President on 7 December 2018 and the President’s Guidance as to reporting in the Family Courts, issued on 29 October 2019. Please see links to this Guidance below:

Anonymisation Guidance

Reporting Guidance