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Should family proceedings be behind closed doors?

Date:12 OCT 2015
Third slide
Assistant solicitor

The issue of privacy in the family courts has once against raised its head in Mostyn J’s recent case of Appleton and Gallagher v News Group Newspapers Ltd and The Press Association

In Appleton and Gallagher v News Group Newspapers Ltd and The Press Association [2015] EWHC 2689 (Fam) Mostyn J stated that 'To say that the law about the ability of the press to report ancillary relief proceedings which they are allowed to observe is a mess would be a serious understatement.' But what is the supposed position of the law?

The rules

Rule 27.10 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 states that cases are held in private. It used to be the position that only parties and their representatives could attend hearings in the family court . However since April 2009 the press are able to attend family hearings under rule 27.11. That said rule 29.12 of the rules prohibits reporters from looking at any documents produced at hearings.

The president’s guidance

In January 2014 the president Munby J clearly perceived there to be a lack of clarity in this area as he issued Practice Guidance (Transparency...

Read the full article here.