From today family court hearings will be open to the public and journalists, even if children are involved.
Journalists and members of the public will be able to sit in on divorce and custody hearings, getting to hear details of financial settlements, affairs, marital breakdown and parents’ relationships with their children. Hearings will only be held in private if a judge can be convinced that holding them in public will prejudice the case.
The reason given for opening up the hearings is that it will make the family court process more open and result in less mistakes. From my own first hand experience trying to get my step children protected from their violent alcoholic father for a couple of years, what causes a lot of the “mistakes” is the guidelines that are handed down to judges taking away their discretion and forcing them to make bad decisions.
The British government makes every effort to keep every element of the personal and professional lives secret but when it comes to us plebs, every element of our lives has to be laid open to scrutiny by everyone and anyone at any time.
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