About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Open courts: DJ Gerlis comments

Readers may be interested in these, as usual, intelligent comments by DJ Gerlis on the question of media access to the courts.

1 comment:

Natasha Phillips said...

The judiciary have unwittingly chosen a progressive stance (largely via coercion rather than complicity it seems) by agreeing somewhat gingerly to allow the media further access into the court room, but the assertion by DJ Gerlis that 'the truth' will be uncovered for all to see is perhaps charmingly naive or rather defensive, whichever is the lesser evil :)

To my mind, the media is limited in its ability to uncover the truth purely by reporting case hearings; there is limited scope for probing the quality of the evidence at hand for example and even less chance of ascertaining whether the judge has erred in his or her application of legal precedent and procedure, which by and large in the Family Courts is less than compact.

The abovementioned forms of examination and care are of course the premise of the lawyer and the judge, but the very reason why the public at large and various pressure groups have demanded more media access to the courts is because these jobs are not being done to a reasonable standard.

As a self confessed cyber sceptic, the view that media both digital and print through the forum of journalism will on its own reveal the truth is hard to embrace but it is clear that media has been largely responsible for some of the wonderful changes we now see, such as the diligent reporting and subsequent investigation into the death of Baby P.

Whilst press presence in the court room may create both positives and negatives, it is overall a force for the good and regardless of hidden agendas and in camera communication, the press are providing a much needed platform for a revolution; the chance to make some meaningful modifications to an ailing system in need of TLC.

Freedom of speech has never looked so sexy!

Happy New Year to all.