How comfortable are users of the Family Court with transparency?
There are constant calls for greater transparency in the Family Courts so that the public can view justice being done in family cases. However, is that what the users in the Family Court want? Many people are concerned that bringing their cases to Court would mean their personal details are aired.
We are seeing many people looking to settle issues outside of the Court arena, which is always to be commended whenever possible using private hearings to deal with financial cases (private FDRs), arbitration, also using collaborative law practices and mediation.
The public were glued to the high profile case in America between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and their defamation action, but is that what people want here?
The media have actually had access to Family Court proceedings since 27 April 2009. They were not entitled to attend all hearings, in particular those conducted for the purposes of judicially assisted conciliation and negotiation. They may also not report on specifics of everything that takes place. If the Family Court provide greater transparency, this may mean more cases are dealt with outside of the Court arena to prevent the public learning intimate details of other people, in particular celebrities.