The President of the Family Division, Andrew McFarlane said journalists and bloggers should have greater access to family court hearings and court documents in a report on transparency in family proceedings published today.

McFarlane said parents and family members should also have more freedoms to contact journalists about important and concerning cases.

In a statement on the judiciary’s website, he said the current reporting process was not sustainable and that there needed to be  “a major shift in culture and process to increase the transparency”. He said the report’s aim was to balance two key issues: developing public confidence in the Family Justice system while maintaining the anonymity of families and children inside the system.

McFarlane now hopes to pilot a new reporting system in family courts around the country.

Researching Reform welcomes this report and the team behind it who are enabling the development of a more humane and sophisticated family court system for children and their parents.

And hats off to McFarlane, for this brave and insightful report.

You can read the President’s statement here.

You can access the report here.

Many thanks to Dana for alerting us to the publication of the report.