Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said new legislation to provide for greater transparency in family law courts will be published "within weeks".

Speaking to RTÉ's This Week programme, Mr Shatter said: "We intend, very shortly, to bring forward legislation that will provide for that transparency. I can guarantee it will be seen in the coming weeks".

Mr Shatter said that the in camera rule had contributed to a suspicion and a lack of understanding of family courts.

He described the in camera rule as "hugely important" to those involved in proceedings such as child care, custody or general family law, but said that a balance is required.

“My concern for a long time that there is a lack of transparency," Mr Shatter added.

"There are concerns that legislators don't see how they operate and some people are concerned that there can be a lack of uniformity in the way individual judges deal with family cases."