The Legal Services Commission has issued guidance regarding funding issues related to media access to family court hearings which opened to accredited media yesterday.
The LSC have stated that no specific cover/amendment will be needed to represent a funded client on issues relating to media attendance which are dealt with in the proceedings for which the client is funded. This will also be the position in relation to the consideration by the court of continuing the anonymity of children following the conclusion of proceedings under the Children Act 1989.
However, if there are separate issues regarding reporting, reporting restrictions, confidentiality or anonymity which would fall to be considered by the court, for example on an application by a media organisation or on an application for an injunction against such an organisation, then this would require specific cover and would be considered on a means and merits tested basis. This is not a change to the previous funding position.
If there is a challenge to the decision of the court in relation to media attendance, then this will be by way of judicial review. Cover for any judicial review proceedings would require a separate means and merits tested application for funding.
The LSC guidance can be downloaded below.