Family Law Hub

President issues guidance on anonymisation of judgments involving children and sexual abuse

Guidance endorses that prepared by Dr Julia Brophy in a 2016 report jointly funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the Association of Lawyers for Children

  • The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published Presidential guidance that aims to minimise the risk of identification and refine the way descriptions of sexual abuse are presented in judgments so that children are better protected from the dissemination of distressing material on the web. The original report was commissioned as a result of comments from the young people's panel of the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS). 

    The Guidance is primarily in the form of two checklists originally published in the Nuffield report: 

    Checklist 1 gives pointers on how judges might abridge or redact details so as to reduce the risk of jigsaw identification, that is being able to identify individuals from a collection of details but without them being named.  

    Checklist 2 provides examples of how findings of sexual abuse might be presented with the more explicit material stripped out. Such an approach is suggested partly because of the risk that graphic descriptions of the sexual abuse of children would be shared by paedophile networks.  

    The full guidance is available in full from the Judiciary website

News, published: 10/12/2018

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Published: 10/12/2018

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