Rulings in secretive Family Courts and Court of Protection are to be made public after country’s most senior Judge calls for greater transparency.

The change is the next move in a push by Sir James Mumby for greater transparency in the Family Court system. The guidance means that Judges now have to provide compelling reasons to prevent judgements being released, with local authorities and expert witnesses involved in care cases being generally named- although the anonymity of children and vulnerable adults will be protected. Hundreds of decisions on parental access to children and care orders were also published in a move to end the secrecy of Family Courts.

The move came following sustained criticism from Fathers groups and MP’s and the Family Court lack transparency with 95000 hearings in private every year. In recent years several secret care cases have been exposed by the Court of Appeal after disgraceful decisions by local authorities. Speaking at the Justice Select Committee Sir James said that the January guidance was ‘merely a start’ and that he planed to issue further missives following consultation. Sir James said; ‘January guidance was already having a visible affect on secrecy within the family court system with many more judgements now available to the public’.

If you are currently dealing with a Family Court matter and need some expert legal family advice, contact our Family team today. We have offices across Lincolnshire and Newark in Lincoln, Boston, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding and Grantham, or alternatively come to one of our free family clinics held on the last Friday of every month

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