‘Patchy’ publication of family court judgements

family law

Guidance urging the routine publication of family court judgements is applied inconsistently across the country, a study has found.

Research by the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University found “patchy” application of the 2014 guidance, which was issued by Family Division President Sir James Munby in response to allegations of secrecy and closed door justice frequently made by elements of the press.

The guidance stipulated that judgements be published as frequently as possible on publicly accessible legal webste Bailii.org, fully anonymised where necessary (for example, in cases involving children), in order to encouragea  greater understanding of the family law system amongst the public and media.

The School of Law and Politics was prompted to examine tbe results following concerns from some that only a limited number of judgements were appearing on the site and those that did were sometimes poorly anonymised.

The researchers found that in the two years following the President’s guidance, only 27 judges and 12 courts submitted in excess of ten cases to Bailii.org. in addition, there were signficant regional variations, with some areas publishing more judgements than others.

Lead researcher Dr Julie Doughty said these variations could result in confusion.

“The judgments now published provide more information about the role of the family courts than was available prior to the guidance, but there are inconsistences in the way courts have responded which can present a confusing and not necessarily representative picture of the system as a whole.”

The report was entitled Transparency through publication of family court judgments. Read it here.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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4 comments

keith - March 24, 2017 at 8:31pm

We were told by our Barrister that she should be able to supply the transcripts from the final 8 days of hearings from her laptop yet she never produced them. we even contacted her Barristers chambers asking her to respond but we were ignored. this is the quality of service we are getting via legal Aid. Absolute Rubbish.

Sam - June 27, 2017 at 9:10pm

I have to agree,my son had a solicitor a big company etc,no help what so ever,and was very friendly with the local authorities. We only met her 2 times and had no transcripts and heard nothing.we sacked them as told to,as wasn’t partied till 21 weeks (first hearing) placement for adoption on second.. no transcripts no nothing,family and friends raising first 5k and tried revoking orders, it turns out we paid half of the costs we were told by the solicitors. So everytime we tried revoking they said eg Dec,but said been put bk till the next month,then they stamped the child. We only had 3 transcripts from all 6 revoking orders,where the la run there case at our expense, and the solicitor when partied eventually they had been to court for 3 orders before the father was partied in. Purposely keeping him of the child’s birth certificate.

dr. manhattan62 - June 28, 2017 at 12:36pm

i think most parents know they are all in it together making a lot of money from the huge tax payer funded pie. its no secret that Social workers, Judges and others have been conspiring in secret deals to unlawfully remove children from their parents who have not committed any crime against them. (known as punishment without Crime)
until the family courts are scrapped you will never get true justice at the hands of these people.
the real truth is that it should be the decision of the Police and other independent bodies to remove children from their parents and obviously we know the police normally only act on real evidence not 2nd & 3rd party hearsay (the He said she said thing). so the result would be that most children would not be removed and no court proceedings would be needed.

Andrew - June 28, 2017 at 1:59pm

” its no secret that Social workers, Judges and others have been conspiring in secret deals to unlawfully remove children from their parents who have not committed any crime against them. ”

Where do you buy your tinfoil hats?

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