Playing by Aussie Rules

I blogged last week over on the Transparency Project about a lecture I attended by an Australian Judge Ian Kennedy AM, where he provided really useful materials used down under for the standardised anonymisation of judgments in family matters. I am certainly going to use these as a starting point when I next get passed the buck, and will suggest to the judiciary that they do likewise.

Here are the guidelines in use in Australia : Anonymisation Guidelines.

3 thoughts on “Playing by Aussie Rules

  1. […] Vast numbers of judgments are published in Australia (some 1300 a year) on their equivalent of BAILII (Austlii). What is interesting is that those judgments are anonymised through a centralised Judgments Publication Office which operates through standardised guidelines. Some of us involved at the Transparency Project have had discussions about the current difficulties with our “system” of anonymisation – it isn’t really a system at all and relies on lawyers or judges to anonymise. It is time consuming and risky – we recently reported about a case where a judgment had to be removed because it inadvertently identified a family. We had begun to wonder if there might be some body tasked with the routine anonymisation of judgments and if there might be some standardisation or pro forma used – and now it seems that the Australians had already invented it! Ian Kennedy helpfully provided us with a handout containing the template / checklist used by the Australian courts to anonymise – they use psyeudonyms rather than initials for example, and these should be ethnically appropriate. And, as I know a number of us at the Transparency Project have suggested – the Australian courts publish only the year of birth of a child rather than their date of birth, to avoid things like identity theft or re-identification through the power of google. When I am at home and have the technical facilities I will scan and post that checklist document, which I will be using as an aide memoire when I next have to anonymise a judgment [update 15/05/15 – I’ve now done that here]. […]

  2. Meant to say ‘thanks ‘ for posting this guide weeks ago. Apols got delay. Lovely to see you and Zoe at CL. All the best. Jo

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