Opening family courts to media may deter medical expert witnesses

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 11 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5449
  1. David Payne
  1. 1BMJ

    Government plans to allow limited press reporting of family court proceedings in England and Wales will make it harder to recruit expert medical witnesses, a debate on the proposals has heard.

    The justice secretary, Jack Straw, had said that the Children, Schools and Families Bill, announced in the Queen’s speech last month, will expose family courts to greater public scrutiny, making them more open and accountable.

    Alistair MacDonald, a barrister from Birmingham, told a debate on the planned changes hosted by the Family Justice Council in London on 9 December, that clause 34 of the bill, …

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