The household courts secret ends because the media is allowed to cowl divorce and custody circumstances

However, he acknowledged the concerns of such groups and the “concerns” of the judges, but said, “This is not a reason not to initiate proceedings.”

He warned that the family justice system without reform risks “serious reputational damage” because “it takes place behind closed doors or is perceived as such”. Judges and their decisions were also not subjected to public scrutiny.

“Justice that takes place in a private setting, where the press cannot report what has happened and where public information is very limited, inevitably leads to a loss of public confidence and the perception that there is something to hide,” he said.

“A largely closed system in which the public is not informed about the functioning of the court leads to the allegation that it is a question of ‘secret’ justice and that the course of action of the court is unsound, unfair or simply wrong.”

Justice Minister Lord Wolfson said: “We want to create a system that is as transparent as possible while maintaining important safeguards for cases involving children.

“The government will work closely with the judiciary to conduct this review and improve access to and reporting on family courts.”

“Very clear” rules

Sir Andrew proposed “open” court pilots in two parishes within months.

He said there was a public interest in better understanding what courts should and could do, including how to deal with divorces from “normal” people, not just “multibillionaires”.

However, he promised that there would be “very clear” rules to protect both the anonymity of children and family members in court and the confidentiality of intimate details of their private lives.

The changes require changes to the rules that state that all family trials should be held privately unless a judge decides otherwise.

These need to be signed by the Justice Department, but a source said: “We are committed to increasing transparency across the judicial system and will work with the judiciary to improve access while protecting children and families.”

“Deterrent” effect on court reporters

Journalists can currently attend hearings but cannot report on them unless approved by the court. Sir Andrew said the current rules had a “deterrent” effect as journalists were discouraged from attending for fear of disregarding legal proceedings.

However, he said restrictions on private information were necessary in order for those in family courts to feel able to speak freely and honestly, especially when there was abuse within a household.

“Although the change I am proposing will result in the presumption being reversed to allow for reporting, it will always be at the discretion of the judge whether to exclude all non-parties in any given case,” he said.

“Openness and confidentiality are not incompatible and both are achievable. The aim is to significantly strengthen the public’s trust and at the same time to maintain confidentiality over the long term. “

Reporters are allowed to read position and testimony, but not medical reports or primary documents such as police disclosures.

A family member telling a journalist about a case will no longer be counted as a violation of court rules. The cases will be listed similarly to the criminal courts and the judges will publish anonymized judgments, starting with the goal of 10 percent being published.

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