A new pilot coming into effect on 1st October, will give approved lawyers access to private hearings in the Family Court and the Family Division of the High Court, so that they can report on the proceedings. Selected reporters will be known as ‘legal bloggers.’

Pilot schemes inside the family courts are allowed under Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, 36.2. The decision to launch a pilot for reporting inside the family courts was announced in Practice Direction FPR 2010, PD 36J, and covers all private hearings within FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, 27.11, including child protection hearings and divorce proceedings.

In an update published by Lexis Nexis this morning, [link for subscribers], the scheme appears to have been set up to assess the new reporting regulations which cover lawyers attending private family law proceedings in a reporting capacity, as well as accredited reporters from “news gathering and reporting organisations”.

Lawyers who wish to take part in the pilot must belong to one of the categories below:

  1. Hold a valid practising certificate
  2. Work for a Higher Education institution, or
  3. Work for an educational charity

The pilot will run for nine months and ends on 30th June, 2019.