The High Court has launched a new appeal system in which family law appeals will be held in public by default.
High Court – rather than Appeal Court – Judges will preside over many such cases, in order to relieve pressure on the Court of Appeal itself.
Previously family court hearings were held in private, with the Judges in each case specifying which if any aspects of the case could be published.
But now such appeals will held in open court – although the identification of any children will be still be barred.
Amongst the first cases to be heard under the new system was an appeal this week from a family court ruling in Chelmsford, Essex. Parents were in dispute over their child. High Court Judge Mr Justice Baker explained that an open hearing was in line with current policy in the Court of Appeal.