You are here

We need new laws to ensure transparency in the family courts

The family courts process is more transparent but legislation is needed to achieve true openness in public law cases, says Marilyn Stowe

16 April 2012

Exactly what should be made public from the family courts has been contested ground for many years, with efforts to ensure greater transparency often resulting in greater confusion. Professor Jane Ireland’s recent study for the Family Justice Council, Evaluating Expert Witness Psychological Reports: Exploring Quality, has brought it home to me vividly.

A damning critique of the role of expert witnesses in family proceedings, her study analyses the professionals whose words carry power of influence over family law judgments. The figures are outrageous: 65 per cent of reports are judged to be ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’; there is a culture of career experts that provide cut and paste psychological assessments on people they have never met or spoken to; and 90 per cent of reports are authored by non-practising psychologists aside from their court work. These are people whose ‘insights’ decide the fate of children, 903 of whom were removed from their parents in January al...

Want to read on?

This article is part of our subscription-based access. Please pick one of the options below to continue.

Already registered? Login to access premium content

SUBSCRIBE for one User

Unlimited access to the entire SJ website for a full year for one user.

  • 10 issues a year delivered to you
  • Digital edition of the magazine for one user – sent to your inbox or accessible through the website
  • Access to premium content on the website
  • Access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online
  • Advanced search feature
  • Online support
  • Access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices – coming soon!
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

Subscribe

CORPORATE SUBSCRIPTION

Your department or entire firm can subscribe to Solicitors Journal online, providing easy access for all who require it. Discount corporate subscription rates apply, based on number of users.

The Corporate IP Licence includes:

  • Digital copy of the magazine sent to individuals’ inboxes and accessible through the website. Solicitors Journal publishes 10 issues per year
  • Unlimited access to premium content on the website based on IP addresses
  • Unlimited access to the fully searchable online archive of Solicitors Journal, Managing Partner and Private Client Adviser, which spans over 13 years
  • Weekly email newsletter with all the latest news, analysis and features
  • Comment on SJ content and contribute to the SJ community online (username required)
  • Unlimited access to SJ app compatible with Android and Apple devices
  • 6 special focuses per year
  • Special offers and discounts on Solicitors Journal and IICJ events

The Corporate IP Licence is tailored to your firm, making it the most cost effective way for the firm to access Solicitors Journal, and enables the firm to remain compliant with copyright and our Terms and Conditions. This gives you the ability to print and circulate articles within the firm.

To enquire about a Corporate IP Licence for your firm, please contact our Subscriptions Manager on emily.beechey@solicitorsjournal.com.