Open Justice Webinar Series

I took part in the first of four open justice themed panel discussions last week (‘Law, Justice and the Spaces in Between’). This first webinar asked : “Does being watched change how justice is done?” and looked at the role and function of observers in trials, inquests, family courts and tribunals. It was a really interesting discussion, ranging across not only family courts but inquests and other fora. It brought together journalists, participants, lawyers, bloggers and tweeters – and I hope was interesting to the 150 odd people who attended.

Part 2 is next week.

If you would like to watch a recording of the webinar you can watch here.

Details of the rest of the series are in my blog post here.

Law, Justice & the Spaces Between

I’m really pleased to be taking part in an exciting series of free webinars running in January to March, investigating openness and press reporting of our courts and tribunals. The webinars have been organised by journalist Louise Tickle and are supported by Bath Publishing. The webinars are free, but attendees are encouraged to make a donation, which will go to Advocate (formerly Bar Pro Bono Unit). I hope to see some of you there.

 

On 21 Jan : Does being watched change how justice is done? The role and function of observers in trials, inquests, family courts and tribunals.

The panel will include :

  • Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC: human rights and media specialist barrister, Doughty St Chambers
  • Dr George Julian: knowledge transfer consultant and live tweeter of inquests
  • Prof Celia Kitzinger and Gill Loomes-Quinn: Open Justice Court of Protection Project
  • Lucy Reed (me) : children barrister, St John’s Chambers, chair of The Transparency Project
  • Louise Tickle: journalist, director of Scrutiny
  • Nick Wallis: investigative journalist, the Post Office trial
  • Dr Sara Ryan: mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, campaigner Justice for Laughing Boy

On 4 Feb : Silence in court: what is lost – and who gains – when the state bans family members from speaking out?

The panel will include :

  • Sir James Munby: immediate past President of the Family Division of the High Court
  • Emma Norton: solicitor and founder, The Centre for Military Justice
  • Paul Bernal: associate professor in information technology, intellectual property and media law, the University of East Anglia
  • Brian Farmer: reporter, PA Media
  • Mark Neary: father of Steven Neary
  • Lucy Reed (me again) : children barrister, St John’s Chambers, chair of The Transparency Project

On 18 Feb  : In pursuit of social justice – is a hearing held in public enough to hold the state to account?

The panel will include :

  • Tor Butler Cole QC: – barrister specialising in inquests and Court of Protection cases, 39 Essex St Chambers
  • Julie Doughty: trustee, The Transparency Project and senior lecturer, Cardiff Law School
  • Tristan Kirk: courts correspondent, Evening Standard
  • Mark Hanna: emeritus fellow, Department of Journalism Studies, Sheffield University
  • Marienna Pope-Weidemann: bereaved relative campaigning for #JusticeforGaia

On 4 Mar : The observer’s dilemma: does negotiating access with power and parties compromise independence?

The panel will include :

  • Dr George Julian: knowledge transfer consultant and live tweeter of inquests
  • Mr Justice Hayden: vice-president of the Court of Protection
  • Professor Celia Kitzinger and Gill Loomes-Quinn: Open Justice Court of Protection Project
  • Lucy Reed (yeah, me again) : children barrister, St John’s Chambers and chair of The Transparency Project
  • Louise Tickle: journalist, director of Scrutiny
  • Angela Forster: mother of Sasha Forster and trustee of Sacha’s Project
Find out more and book tickets (free) here.

How’s it going?

Specifically, how are remote hearings going for parents and family members involved in family court cases?

The Transparency Project want to find out.

If you are a parent or family member who has taken part in a remote hearing during the covid-19 outbreak, or if you are someone who has supported them during that hearing, please complete the survey. And please let others know about it by sharing on social media.

In due course the Transparency Project will publish a summary of the survey responses on their website.

 

Click here to complete the survey!