The Society of Editors is calling on the Government to allow journalists to be able to challenge reporting restrictions on employment tribunals before they are imposed.
The society has highlighted the problems journalists face in obtaining access to tribunal information, inappropriate exclusions of the press and the misuse of reporting restrictions.
In a series of submissions to the Department of Trade and Industry’s consultation on tribunals, the society calls for information about cases – including the addresses of the parties involved and their claims – to be held on the Public Register.
It argues that the Public Register must be retained and made more accessible by being published on the internet.
The submission by Santha Rasaiah, chief legal adviser to the society, said: “All information upon the Public Register about the parties and the claim must be made publicly accessible before the claim is heard, as well as after the proceedings have concluded, alongside the judgment.”
The society is calling for “fast-track” appeals against reporting restrictions and hearings being held in private.
The society wants tribunal chairmen, panels and support staff trained in the principles of open justice and media practices.
According to the submission: “These include, inviting media representations before any orders are made, or any hearing goes into private session or documents are withheld.”