President Calls For Investigation Into Covert Recordings In Family Court Cases

Covert recordings in abuse situations have proved invaluable to investigative journalists when recording proof of suspected abuse among older people, so why not in situations involving children?

Researching Reform

The President Of The Family Division has called on the Family Justice Council to look into the use of audio and video recordings obtained by parties going through the family courts. Sir James Munby made the request in a judgment published on 18th October. 

The case before Munby was an appeal which threw up the issue of covert recordings used within the family courts, their admissibility and the lack of guidance in this area for family professionals and the parties themselves. Parties in family court cases sometimes record events or conversations in secret, to show wrongdoing when there is no other way of proving fault.

Key parts of the judgment are added below:

“The courts have had to grapple with the legal and procedural issues generated by the stool-pigeon, the eavesdropper and the concealed observer since time immemorial. Since the second half of the nineteenth century the courts have had…

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