Not a Red Letter Day

I posted about the new rules allowing media access to the family courts a few days ago, (for anyone who is unaware of the rules and their effect (where have you been?), an excellent summary can be found here) and thought I would return for a very brief look at the initial reaction to the change.

What has happened on the ground? Well, not a lot, apparently. The Times does appear to have sent a reporter to every family court, and certainly Camilla Cavendish sat in on a hearing yesterday, but Lucy Reed at Pink Tape and other family lawyers have reported very little media interest in their activities.

As to the response of the media themselves, this seems to have continued to be almost exclusively negative. Take, for example, this article that appeared in The Guardian today (hat-tip to Jailhouselawyer). Complaining about the continued reporting restrictions, Afua Hirsch said: "At the moment, the presence of the media is only marginally better than pointless."

Doubtless I will be returning to this subject (as, I'm sure, will the campaigners who wish to fully open the family courts), but for the moment at least it seems that very little has changed. Certainly, as The Telegraph said today, yesterday was not "a red letter day in the history of the Family Courts."


  1. I suspect that what the campaigners really wanted is that the courts are open to everyone, so that when their ex-husband/wife is in court, and all their friends and relatives are watching, they behave a little less crazily than they get away with currently.

    Allowing the press in may well make an improvement to adoption cases though.

    I haven't seen a whisper on any 'mens' forums about this great victory that they have been banging on about for so long. Looks like the MOJ sidestepped them nicely.



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