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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Law Society to debate opening of family courts

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The Law Society is hosting an emergency summit on 26 March 2009 to debate the proposal by justice secretary Jack Straw to open family law Courts to the general public and the media.

The concern is the potential impact on children’s rights in opening up the courts to the public and the fact that press scrutiny will be applied to the most vulnerable of people in very difficult situations.

Although the intention is that more openness will bring about an improvement in legal standards, there’s a real fear that family courts could become a bit of a media circus.

The debate will take place between 6-8pm at the Law Society in London. The speakers are: Mr Justice Hedley, who will focus on the consequences for trial processes and family practitioners and clients; Alison Russell QC, a well-known family law barrister with expertise in family care cases; and Jane Fortin, a professor of law with a specialism in children’s rights at Sussex University.

It will be interesting to see what points are made but our major concern must surely be to ensure the safety and privacy of children involved in such cases?

Andrew Woolley
Family Solicitor

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