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PRIVACY: Clear as mud?

18 April 2017  

Rebecca Harling summarises the approach to privacy in family proceedings and asks whether the current system lacks clarity

Open justice is one of the oldest principles of English law, going back to before the Magna Carta. Jeremy Bentham famously declared that ‘publicity is the very soul of justice’ (Works, Vol 4, 1843). Traditionally the desire for proceedings to be held in the public eye ensured the moral integrity of both the tribunal and truthfulness of any witnesses, but also served to shed light on the legal process and promote a greater public confidence and understanding in the law. In this way justice is not merely being done, but it is being seen to be done.


Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Allan v Clibbery [2002] EWCA Civ 45

    Clibbery v Allan [2001] 2 FCR 577

    DL v SL [2015] EWHC 2621 (Fam)

    K v L [2012] WTLR 153

    Norfolk County Council v Webster & ors [2006] EWHC 2898 (Fam)

    Norman v Norman [2017] EWCA Civ 49

    Rapisarda v Colladon [2014] EWFC 1406

Last modified on 07 April 2017