Nagalro Press Release commenting on the President's Report on Transparency in the Family Courts
08 November 2021
(Last updated: 8 Nov 2021 11:59)
Nagalro has been taking a close interest in the President's Report on Transparency in the Family Courts, and we have added a brief comment from Nagalro in a Press Release. The identification of children and young people and the detail of abuse they have suffered is crucial to protect, having such far reaching implications for their future lives, notwithstanding the importance of transparency of proceedings for the public understanding. Nagalro intends to keep its focus on the interests of the children and to contribute to the detail of the forthcoming debate wherever possible.
NAGALRO PRESS RELEASE
THE PRESIDENT’S REPORT FOLLOWING A REVIEW OF ‘TRANSPARENCY’ ISSUES IN FAMILY COURTS
We refer to the Transparency in the Family Courts Report from the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice, Sir Andrew McFarlane. This report relates to the present system whereby accredited journalists may attend any hearing but may not always report on what they observe. Sir Andrew McFarlane regards this position to be not sustainable.
Nagalro, the Professional Association for Children's Guardians, Family Court Advisers and Independent Social Workers, understands the importance of providing the public with clear information about Family Court proceedings to enable a good understanding of how and why the Courts take far reaching decisions for children’s futures. The President has carefully addressed the importance of this, whilst drawing also on the research undertaken by Dr. Julia Brophy in 2014 providing the voices and views of children and young people on transparency issues in general, and the content of children judgments.
The effects of reporting on and publicising the intimate details of abuses suffered by children can be very damaging, with implications over the child’s lifetime.
Nagalro is considering the balance to be struck between the need for a clear explanation of proceedings for the public and needs of children for anonymity within and post proceedings, alongside safeguards regarding highly intimate details of their maltreatment. We will therefore look carefully at the detailed proposals as they are drawn up and will aim to assist the President to mitigate against potential further harm to children of proposals which risk publication of unnecessary personal information arising from Family Court proceedings.