UK’s Court of Appeal To Live Stream Divorce Cases On Social Media Platforms

UK’s Court of Appeal will stream family hearings that will include certain divorce cases and child social care proceedings. According to the Ministry of Justice, this will be an attempt to improve the public’s understanding of the legal system.

The court deals with appeals from other courts and tribunals and is the highest court within the senior courts of England and Wales.

The legal proceedings will be broadcast on the official judiciary website, as well as on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The first hearing is expected later in the year.


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Cases with reporting restrictions will not be shown, and cases will be streamed with a 90-second time delay, which means, the judges and court staff could halt broadcasting if needed. The plan to broadcast family hearings follows a 2018 pilot project, in which some civil cases were livestreamed.

In a joint statement, Terence Etherton, the Master of the Rolls (head of the country’s civil justice system), and Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division, said,

It was “only right” that cases of public importance were open to the public, giving examples including Islamic faith marriage, access to fertility records and cases involving transgender identity.

We are of course mindful that in some cases, full public access would not be appropriate, we will ensure that those involved in such cases remain protected.


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The duo further added,

Being open about what happens in court is critical for public confidence and understanding of the work which the judiciary undertakes. For centuries our courtrooms have been open to the public. Live streaming brings the public gallery into the 21st century.

Officials added that anonymity could be awarded in sensitive cases, and that participants would be warned beforehand and given the opportunity to raise objections. Judges will decide which family cases should be live-streamed from the court of appeal although the couples will be able to object and potentially veto it if they do not want their case to be broadcast.


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Viewers will be able to see the judge and the bench and the backs of the divorcing couple’s barristers, although the MoJ said there could be some side-on shots. The couple themselves or families in care proceedings will not be filmed.

Well the legal broadcasting revolution to family cases will expose the world to some of the most high-profile and expensive divorces. This, as an option in our country, seems as a remote possibility at the moment. Check out one such video captured from a family court in India that had gone viral.


ALSO READ – Report From UK

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