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Family Court reporting pilot rolled out to 16 more courts across England

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has announced that the Transparency Implementation Group Reporting Pilot (TIG), which for the first time made it the default position that the media could report on family cases, will be extended to 16 courts across the country.

The pilot introduces a presumption that accredited media and legal bloggers may report on what they see and hear during family court cases, subject to strict rules of anonymity. The pilot started at the family courts in Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle at the end of January 2023 and, since then, there has been groundbreaking coverage of a number of both public and private law cases.

From 29 January 2024 the pilot will be extended to the following courts:

North West: Liverpool, Manchester

North East: West Yorkshire, Kingston-upon-Hull

Midlands: Nottingham, Stoke, Derby, Birmingham

London: Central Family Court, East London, West London

South West: Dorset, Truro

South East: Luton, Guildford, Milton Keynes

President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane said ‘Extending the reporting pilot to family courts across the country is a huge step in the judiciary’s ongoing work to increase transparency and improve public confidence and understanding of the family justice system. After a pioneering year of reporting from Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle journalists and legal bloggers will be allowed to report from a further sixteen courts.

‘We hope than in extending the pilot further we can continue to understand the impact that family court reporting has. I would like to urge the media to read the guidance and come to the family courts to see the vital and challenging work that is done there, and to report on the cases and issues that are so important.’

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Published on 25th January 2024