A study exploring the degree to which children and young
people have a right to have their private lives kept private has been published
The report, Safeguarding,
Privacy and Respect for Children and Young People and the Next Steps in Media
Access to Family Courts, authored by Dr Julia Brophy with Kate Perry, Alison
Prescott and Christine Renouf (in conjunction with NYAS and Association of Lawyers for Children) shows that a child’s safety and well-being during court
processes and in the longer term are of the utmost importance.
The study suggests that Parliament should be given the
opportunity to scrutinise proposals to increase media access and reporting of
family cases. This is particularly important as the safeguards originally set
out by Parliament have now been removed.
In the context of the views of young people,
the proposals should also be subject to a proper public consultation exercise,
accompanied by widespread publicity making it clear what is proposed, what
children think to date, and helping all people to respond. The consultation should be undertaken in a
timescale that reflects the gravity of the issues for children and it should
actively seek ways to reach many audiences so that the views of other children
Young people said it does not appear that children’s rights,
views and interests are clearly on the agenda of Parliament or the President of
the Family Division.
An exclusive article by Dr Julia Brophy will be published in
the October issue of Family Law. A
further article by Dr Brophy outlining the proposed recommendations of the
study will appear on familylaw.co.uk in the coming weeks.