Privacy Law Change Shelved

As heralded here the implementation of the CSFA 2010 reforms has been shelved pending the report of the Family Justice Review Committee in the autumn of 2011 (The MoJ website summarises the announcement here).
Which is odd, because the terms of reference of that committee relate only to system and process and specifically exclude making recommendations about substantive law. And I quote (the Review’s own summary of its remit):

The Review will:

  • examine both public and private law cases
  • explore if better use can be made of mediation and how best to support contact between children and non-resident parents or grandparents
  • examine the processes (but not the law) involved in granting divorces and awarding ancillary relief, and
  • look at how the different parts of the family justice system are organised and managed.

So I’m not really sure what waiting for the review committee’s report is going to achieve. But then I suppose if it recommends abolition of large chunks of family proceedings as we know them, the Act will become largely redundant. Either way, I would wager the sections of the CSFA 2010 bearing upon publication of information in family proceedings will go the way of much of the FLA 1996 (never brought into force).

Previous posts on the CSFA 2010 can be found by clicking here.

Family Justice Review

Further to my previous post, I am en route back to the sticks having thrown my two penn’orth in the general direction of the Family Justice Review Panel (I got ’em, right between the eyes). I was somewhat surprised to find that the session was ‘private’ (and apparently not recorded), and so I will not report it’s contents here until clarification on that is received (jokes about the transparency of the family justice system on a postcard please). BUT:  in light of this evidence session, can I urge everybody to consider with renewed vigour to PLEASE respond to the review? It is more important and more serious than you may imagine. We 8 lawyers were asked to contribute orally in an hour and a half and, predictably enough for a room full of lawyers with a short time estimate, were falling over each other to respond to the serious points raised – we could not hope to address the issues fully in that format and the written representations will be crucial.  Over the next little while I will be posting some blog posts to focus minds on issues which the Review are likely to address. No doubt the FLBA and other associations will be consulting more widely over the summer on the matters discussed today (as far as permitted) in advance of presenting their written representations.


Apologies for the slightly ridiculous cloak and dagger approach. But know this:  there are no givens. Change is a comin’.

POST SCRIPT 5 AUG: Although I have not had time to post further, the Panel confirmed that they have no objection to wider discussion of the issues raised for discussion at the evidence session I attended. I will be posting shortly about that.