Draft Guidance on anonymisation of judgments has been published this week. It is published with the support of The President of the Family Division for the purposes of consultation [see note below] – in due course it is anticipated that The President will publish approved guidance of his own, depending on the responses to this draft guidance prepared by Dr Brophy, through a Nuffield funded project.

We are unaware of the date by which the President seeks responses to the draft views on his guidance, but if we find out we will amend this post to include those details. We intend to publish a response in due course.

You can read the guidance and a summary of the background to it here.

[Update : Dr Brophy has contacted us to request that we remove our blog or make clear that our post indicates that the document is “for public consultation…that was never the intention – and for accuracy, empirical research regarding the work of judges, has to go through the President’s Office for approval, it does not however have to have the support of the President for it to be published – that would be wholly unacceptable.”

Dr Brophy also informs us that “as a commissioned research project to produce guidance, it is a final document: it is draft in the sense that it has not been adopted as the President’s guidance.  The [family law] article makes that clear – nowhere does it state that my document would be subject to public consultation, rather it says it is under review by the President with a view to deciding the form of any guidance he issues should take…it is understood he will consult on his proposals before finally issuing any formal guidance.”

Our short blog post was drawn from the Family Law article under the auspices of which the guidance was published (link above). We  don’t think it’s necessary or appropriate to take our blog post down, but are happy to set out Dr Brophy’s points of clarification, to ensure nobody else is as confused as we were. In order to ensure we do not inadvertently confuse the position again we have used Dr Brophy’s own words of explanation. We have also slightly amended the post (marked in strikethrough).