Top judge pledges to end culture of secrety at family courts

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said the public had a right to know “what is being done in their name” and called for the courts to adapt to the internet era
Sir James Mumby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, says family courts must be open to the ‘glare of publicity’ Photo: BRIAN SMITH FOR THE TELEGRAPH
By , Senior Political Correspondent

One of England’s most senior judges has pledged to expose family courts to the   “glare of publicity” to avoid miscarriages of justice and restore public   confidence.

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said   parents of children taken into care must no longer be gagged by the courts   and journalists should be allowed to report on proceedings.

He said that in the absence of the death penalty, removing a child from their   parents is one of the most “drastic” actions a judge can take   consequences that can last a lifetime.

In a speech to the Society of Editors in London, he said that judges must   accept that “human justice is inevitably fallible” and mistakes   are made.

He said that both the family courts, which deal with divorce cases and   adoption, and the Court of Protection, which deals with decisions about   people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, must be   more transparent.

2 thoughts on “Top judge pledges to end culture of secrety at family courts

  1. It is not clear, however, whether Judge Mumby is thinking purely about mothers as victims. Fathers are still likely to be marginalised because the media journalists are themselves influenced by the mandatory gender studies they do in their journalism qualification. Gender studies demonizes men and particularly fathers rights acivists. This is one area where change could be fruitful for fathers human rights. More sympathetic stories for fathers in the media will change public thinking.

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