• Correcting, clarifying or commenting on media reports of family court cases

  • Explaining or commenting on published judgments of family court cases

  • Highlighting other transparency news


BBC News – Reported a BBC 5 Live investigation, into claims that domestic abuse victims are being barred from legal aid for injunctions due to misunderstanding of financial abuse. The report prompted twitter comment about inaccuracies. Blog to follow:


The Guardian – Told the story of Claire Throssell whose young sons were murdered by their abusive father during a contact visit. This story can’t be told too much and it’s plainly useful to keep the pressure on the government regarding the forthcoming domestic abuse bill, expected to include measures to prevent abusers being allowed to cross-examine their victims in the family courts. Nevertheless, we aim to comment on complexity behind the apparent Women’s Aid view that a petition for judges to be held accountable for decisions they make in relation to a custody hearings is the answer to preventing such appalling tragedies:


The Chartered Institute of Journalism (writing in the Journal) – WHY OPEN JUSTICE NEEDS IMPROVING AT BRITAIN’S BIGGEST COURTS CENTRE –  Blog to follow. (See also the Press Gazette report here):


Transparency Positive (& Linker of the Week)

BBCNews (Kent) – Reported Kent County Council plans to act as rent guarantor for care leavers, unusually linking their report to the (open) cabinet paper seeking approval from the corporate parenting committee for a pilot. (This was a Kent Young Adult Council initiative, backed by Centrepoint research, A similar scheme is underway in Devon County Council):



Jack (A Child: care and placement orders) [2018]  – A rare published judgment from a Deputy District Judge in the family court, on care and placement orders with sibling contact. It’s also written in simple language for parents with learning disabilities. See this thread for calls for all judgments, for all parents, to be written similarly:


The Secretary of State for the Home Department v Skripal [2018] – We analysed the Court of Protection decision to permit fluid/tissue samples, where this was neither for direct therapeutic benefit to the person, nor an act of direct altruism towards another, within existing case law. See SERGEI AND YULIA SKRIPAL AND THE COURT OF PROTECTION:


Lukjanenko v Medway Council [2018] – We updated an earlier blog, Pianos and Prisons and Publication of Judgments, to include a recent Court of Appeal decision not to allow the father’s appeal on committal and sentence:


Bloom v Bloom [2018] – We commented on a wife’s successful application for the parties to be named and the judgments published, from the divorce settlement featuring her husband’s multiple frauds, and for permission to disclose them to statutory authorities. As well as unusual press disinterest. See Bloomin’ eck! Divorcing fraudster named and shamed but the papers ignore it:


The Queen on the application of DSD and NBV & Ors -v- The Parole Board of England and Wales & Ors and John Radford [2018] – We commented on transparency and open justice issues arising in this judicial review decision. See Worboys: Parole Board transparency and parallels with family courts:



Legal bloggers attending family court hearings – We updated on our request for a change to the family procedure rules, to allow legal bloggers into court alongside professional journalists. The blog includes this article (first published in Family Law Journal), minutes from and clarification to the rule committee, and comments of the President at the recent Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture:


The Digital Modernisation Programme – We responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the future strategy for HM Courts & Tribunals Service in its approach to court and tribunal estate reform, viewed in the context of the current digital modernisation programme. See Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate:


Transparency in the Family Courts – Lucy Reed discussed judicial decisions not to afford council’s who are subject to criticism, anonymity in published judgments, at Bloomsbury Law Online:


Publication of the second Bridget Lindley memorial lecture – The Family Justice Council published the transcript and podcast from Louise Tickle’s lecture (and the panel discussion), on the impact of social media on family justice and family journalism:


Life Long Links – Family Rights Group are holding events on building life long relationships for children in care, on 10th May in York and 17th May in London. Aimed at strategic leads for councils interested in taking part in a pilot, registration is here:


Child Protection Conference 2018 – Louise Tickle was announced as the ‘intelligent outsider’ speaking at this Transparency Project supported conference on future risk of emotional harm, on 15th September 2018. Register for tickets here:


The Child in the Family Court Room – Jo Delahunty QC will be looking at how children’s voices are heard and whether the family court system is fit for purpose when it comes to dealing with the children at its heart. A free lecture on 26th April:


Feature pic: Courtesy of Flickr Lauri Heikkinenon via Creative Commons licence – with thanks