Lord Justice McFarlane delivers ground breaking speech considering the balance between human rights and child protection

Lord Justice McFarlane, delivering The Bridget Lindley OBE Memorial Lecture 2017 [link https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/announcements/the-inaugural-bridget-lindley-annual-memorial-lecture-holding-the-risk-the-balance-between-child-protection-and-the-right-to-family-life/], posed some challenging questions about how well we are striking the balance between child protection and human rights in England & Wales, with a particular focus on our approach to adoption.

Lord Justice McFarlane posed 3 big questions: Is adoption the best option? How do we know it has worked alright? And thirdly what about transparency? Referencing the work on this last topic by St John’s Chambers barristers, Sarah Phillimore and Lucy Reed, through The Transparency Project and www.familycourtinfo.org.uk websites, Lord Justice McFarlane drew the link between transparency, public trust and confidence as a key component of protecting children and affording families a proper opportunity to engage with professionals and with the court process.

The Transparency Project was founded by Lucy Reed, Sarah Phillimore and others in 2014 and aims are to promote transparency of Family Courts in England and Wales in a variety of ways. For further information visit the project’s website [link http://www.transparencyproject.org.uk/]

The familycourtinfo.org.uk [link www.familycourtinfo.org.uk] website was created by a group of lawyers in Bristol and provides useful basic information about family courts, including locally specific information about the family courts in Bristol, Bath, Weston and Gloucester and the support services available.

Lucy Reed won the Bristol Law Society ‘Barrister of the Year 2016′ award, in recognition of her family law expertise and her charitable work.

View profiles: Sarah Phillimore and Lucy Reed

If you would like to discuss instructing Sarah or Lucy, please contact the clerks on 0117 923 4720 or e-mail  .