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The changing face of our courts

15 September 2016

Chris Keenan considers plans to make the Family Division and the Court of Protection more transparent and tech friendly

Earlier this year, Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division, proposed plans to open family court hearings to the public. This would no doubt be a monumental change for the courts, which, since April 2009, have only allowed access to certain members of the media.

Speaking at SFE's annual national conference in June, Sir James addressed a similar scheme which is currently being run in the Court of Protection (CoP). The transparency pilot, which was introduced in January and has now been extended until 31 August 2017, gives members of the media and public access to hearings.

Where in the past, the media were only allowed to attend specific hearings, the process has now been reversed, and unless a specific order is made, the media and the public ...

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