Greater Openness in the Family Courts called for

It is important that people have a public confidence in the courts since a judge has the power to change someone’s whole life, according to Sir James Munby. The recent ‘ forced caesarian’ case of Alessandra Paccheri,  must bring greater transparency in family courts and the court of protection.  The decision that the 15-month-old daughter of Alessandra Pacchieri must not be identified, calls for a free and unrestricted public debate, This is the opinion of the senior family judge in England and Wales.

In December 2013, the baby girl was placed with prospective adopters after an order by a circuit judge made in October. Munby believes that the child has a right to claim privacy and anonymity. In the same way, the mother has a full right to tell her story to the world. Thus, courts have to be slow in expressing their views about what they perceive as failures by courts and judges.

Definitely in this case, that right should not be curtailed. The mother cannot be denied the right to speak out because this would be against any concept of human dignity and even humanity itself.

Munby has always been a judge who speaks frankly. He had clearly states that some reports of the case on a recent ruling that he delivered were tendentious and even inaccurate, even though he mentioned this was not entirely the fault of the media.

He specifically criticized a report in the Daily Mail from the early December where it was claimed that he had requested to know from social workers why the girl should not be reunited with his mother. He simply commented that this was not true and he has not directed any hearing.

Any further application was only directed to be heard from him. Any application that was made in the court of protection or the family court was all there is. Unfortunately, this has been repeated too much in the media. The justice system cannot blame the media for inaccurate information since for some reason none of the relevant information for released to the open public. Overall, the case has been for radical changes and transparency in family courts and the court of protection.

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