Media now allowed in Family Court

With changes made to the ‘in camera rule’ in January 2014, the media can now report on proceedings in family law and childcare court. This includes reporting of domestic violence cases.


Under strict conditions, the media is prohibited to report any information, which is likely to identify the persons or child to whom the proceedings relate to. Breaching the rule can lead to a fine of maximum limit of €50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.


Making the announcement, the Minister said; “It is in the public interest that there be greater knowledge of the administration of the law in this important area…These reforms will provide valuable information to the public, judiciary and legal professionals on the operation of the law by our courts. However, the public’s right to know has to be balanced with a family’s right to privacy”.


The changes are part of the Government’s commitment to reform and modernise aspects of the Irish family law. However, the court continues to hold a right to exclude representatives of the media from the court under specific circumstances.


Pavee Point welcomes the transparency that this change brings to rulings in domestic violence cases. However, it is important that the new rule won’t deter Traveller and Roma women from seeking protection from abusive partners. Women should be informed about the new change and reassured that their identity will be kept hidden. Any difficulties arising or breaches to the rule must be alerted.

For more information about the change to the ‘in camera’ rule, please contact the Violence against Women Programme or call 01 8780255.