§ Mr. Fraser
To ask the Attorney-General if he intends to take any action to prevent divorce notifications in newspapers containing the reasons for a divorce; and if he will make a statement.
§ The Attorney-General
There is no present intention to change the law relating to the content of divorce notifications in newspapers, but the matter has been referred to the Law Commission who are considering it along with the law of divorce on which they are expected to report later this year. Under the present divorce law, to provide protection against divorces being granted where the facts required do not exist, Parliament provided in section 9 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 that any person may show cause why a decree nisi of divorce should not be made absolute. The decree nisi is therefore declared in open court and any member of the public may examine the certificate of the decree and the filed evidence for this purpose. The Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Act 1926 aligns with this policy by allowing the press to report, amongst other things, the names and addresses of the parties to a divorce, together with the statutory facts on which the petition relies. Any further restriction would conflict with the present policy of section 9.