The President of the Family Division, Andrew McFarlane, has put out a call for evidence, as part of his review of the current reporting and public access regulations for child proceedings.

The initiative is called The Transparency Review, and McFarlane is inviting any person or agency who wants to submit evidence, advice or other material to send it through to his office.

McFarlane has assembled a panel to help him with this process:

  • Dr Eia Asen (consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist)
  • Anthony Douglas CBE (former chief executive of CAFCASS)
  • Clare Dyer (former Legal Editor of The Guardian)
  • Nicola Shaw CBE (Executive Director of National Grid).

The website page with details of this initiative explains there are three questions of particular interest that the Review would like information on:

  • Is the line currently drawn correctly between, on the one hand, the need for confidentiality for the parties and children whose personal information may be the subject of proceedings in the Family Court, and, on the other hand, the need for the public to have confidence in the work that these courts undertake on behalf of the State and society?
  • If not, what steps should be taken to achieve either greater openness or increased confidentiality?
  • Do you have any observations on the Practice Guidance: Family Court- Anonymisation Guidance issued by the President on 7 December 2018 and the President’s Guidance as to reporting in the Family Courts, issued on 29 October 2019?

You can send your comments to The President’s Private Office at, with the headline Transparency Review.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 2 March 2020.