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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Journalists defend yourselves

The Law Gazette reports that children in divorce and family cases in Courts "do not trust newspapers". This was found after quite detailed research by the Children Commissioner for England. The presence of the Press might well cause children (and I dare say others) to restrict what they say in evidence.

Does anybody involved in Court proceedings trust the media? Should they? Should the media be allowed to be present at all in cases involving children especially given this finding?

Personally, in my 30 years or so in law I have been involved with the media on quite a few occasions and have had no personal difficulty at all and my general experience is good. That view is not widely shared within the legal profession and especially by divorce lawyers. (Mind you, I am not sure journalists think much of the legal profession!)

When the law was changed to allow the Press into divorce and family cases, concern was expressed that there would only be reports on celebrity divorces and also on the more "salacious" cases. That is understandable but I fear can give a completely false impression of how the Courts work for the ordinary person. Somehting to be avoided I think.

So, journalists, defend yourself against what has been said.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor


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