The Government recently allowed journalists into family law Courts for the first time, in the routine sense. A lot of our clients are worried and there has been a lot of misinformation in the Press.
Any journalist will be checked to ensure they are just that and also have to be accredited to be allowed in. All our lawyers know these rules but I hear that family lawyers in many firms do not, indeed we hear many Courts do not either. Do make sure your lawyer knows them!
These are the main things to remember, but the actual Rules are quite complex:
- The Judge still has powers to ban media in cases such as where someone may be too much affected by the media. This might even be where someone is nervous anyway and might not be able to concentrate.
- If the case involves a child at all, then in general the Press will not be able to report anything which might identify that child, thus making it very hard if not impossible to identify the parents. So, maybe the use of a middle aged couple from Manchester will be seen more!
- The Press have no right to see any paperwork in the case which often includes the most detail of a private or intimate nature.
As I say, make sure your lawyer knows these Rules before going to Court.
I will resist the temptation to go on here, again, about working hard to settle divorce cases on sensible terms! These Rules are perhaps another incentive to do so?