Family court reporting to be allowed for first time

For the first time, journalists will be able to report what happens in family courts, under a pilot scheme.

Until now, reporters have been able to observe hearings but could only report what was allowed by a judge.

The 12-month pilot, which will not allow journalists to identify families, takes place in Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle from the end of January.

Family courts have powers to make drastic interventions – such as ordering children be taken into care.

They also decide where children should live when parents cannot agree or where there are allegations of abuse.

The changes being trialled are potentially very significant, affecting a court system which involves at least half a million people every year.

From the end of January, accredited journalists will be able to report what they see and hear as long as they protect the anonymity of families.

Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle have been chosen as a representative mix of rural and urban communities.

Despite the fact that family…

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