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Justice Committee examines open justice and transparency in family court system

7 January 2022

The Justice Committee continues its inquiry into open justice on Tuesday 11 January with two evidence sessions focussing on family courts, transparency and court reporting

Purpose of the session

In the opening session, the Committee will explore the findings and conclusions of the report Confidence and Confidentiality: Transparency in the Family Courts with the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane. It will examine how the culture and processes of Family Court can better support transparency while ensuring the interests of the child are protected. It will also consider how key recommendations, such as improving media access to Family Court proceedings, can be implemented in practice.

The second session will question John Battle, Chair of the Media Lawyers Association, and Dr Natalie Byrom, Director of Research at The Legal Education Foundation, about the challenges of securing open justice in a changing media environment. It will also consider how accessibility can be improved, both in terms of facilitating court reporting and ensuring availability of data and court judgments. 


Tuesday 11 January

Panel 1, from 2.30pm 

  • Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division 

Panel 2, from 3:15pm

  • John Battle, Head of Legal and Compliance, ITN; Chair of the Media Lawyers Association 
  • Dr Natalie Byrom, Director of Research at The Legal Education Foundation 

Further information

Image: MoJ