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Family law and child care court cases can now be reported, but under strict conditions

The changes to the in camera rule mean that under certain circumstances cases can be reported.

Image: court mallet via Shutterstock

THE MEDIA CAN now report on proceedings in family law and child care court cases from today after two Acts were signed into law.

The changes to the in camera rule came into effect ahead of the start of the new legal term today, and mean that cases can be covered in the media as long as it is not “likely to lead members of the public to identify a party to the proceedings or a child to whom the proceedings relate.”

Breaching this rule will result in a fine of as much as €50,000, or up to 3 years imprisonment.

Previously, these cases were held in private, with no members of the public allowed to enter the courtroom.

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said that these changes are “in the public interest”, and will allow a greater insight into the workings of the court. He said that it will also be of benefit to judiciary and legal professionals.

“However, the public’s right to know has to be balanced with a family’s right to privacy,” he said.

It will be strictly prohibited to report any information likely to identify the parties to the proceedings or any child to whom the proceedings relate.

Reporting of cases will still be restricted in certain circumstances.

In 2012: Reporting to be allowed on family law and child care court cases >

Read: Conversation between two judges on family law case had ‘no effect’ on ruling >

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Nicky Ryan

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