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Courts: Family Cases

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how, in allowing the media access to the written evidence and substance of cases in the family courts, they have sought to protect other children in families with a child involved in care proceedings from media exposure. [HL6224]

The Government’s proposed measures to be included in the Children, Schools and Families Bill will strengthen the anonymity afforded to children and families involved in care proceedings by making it of indefinite duration and extending it to all persons involved in the proceedings. The Bill will also include provisions for the court to prohibit or restrict publication of information if it is likely to prejudice the welfare of a child or the safety of any person.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether children involved in care and related proceedings will be informed that discussions they have with child care professionals such as doctors and social workers may be subject to media reporting due to the media having access to written evidence and the substance of proceedings in the family courts. [HL6225]

It is clearly right that children who are of sufficient age and understanding are informed about the presence of accredited media representatives in the court and the fact that material may be published. We would expect professionals to use their judgment about the most effective and appropriate way to do this.