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President appoints 26 experts to panel tasked with increasing transparency in Family Court

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has appointed senior members of the judiciary and government officials alongside legal professionals and media representatives to his proposed Transparency Implementation Group (TIG).

Twenty-six experts have been chosen to sit on TIG, including the Executive Director for Children, Families & Education (DCS) from Essex County Council.

Sir Andrew is heading the group with the assistance of two co-chairs, Mrs Justice Nathalie Lieven and Her Honour Judge Madeleine Reardon.

Professionals from family law organisations – including the Family Rights Group, the Family Justice Young Peoples Board, and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory – are on the panel, together with district judges, barristers, solicitors and legal advisors.

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Journalist Sian Harrison of PA Media and legal blogger and barrister Lucy Reed, who is chair of The Transparency Project, are sitting on the panel as representatives of the media.

Helen Lincoln, the Executive Director for Children, Families & Education (DCS) at Essex County Council, will also be a member.

Sir Andrew announced the proposal for the TIG in October in a report, 'Transparency Review – Family Division', in which he said the time had come for accredited media representatives and legal bloggers to be able, not only to attend hearings in the Family Courts, but to report publicly on what they see and hear.

The President said he aims to "enhance public confidence significantly, whilst at the same time firmly protecting continued confidentiality".

The group aims to meet before Christmas. Terms of reference are to be published in due course. The full list of members can be read here.

Adam Carey

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