• 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


The Telegraph – Reported the Court of Appeal decision from Waggott v Waggott under the headline, Meal ticket for life’ bid backfires as divorcee loses £175,000 a year from ex-husband. We explained the case and discussed the headline, in Meal ticket for life backfires – or does it?:


The Daily Mail – Barbara Rich (Transparency Project Member) asked if this Mail report (of Thompson v Ragget), was a missed opportunity for basic public legal education on inheritance law rights. See Inheritance disputes and the media: making wishes come untrue, at Medium, re-posted at ICLR, in response to Millionaire leaves nothing..only for judge to overturn his wishes..


Transparency Positive

The Liverpool Echo – Brought some of the legal detail to the public, from the Court of Appeal proceedings about Alfie Evans, ahead of the published judgment, by live-tweeting:



Re L (A Child) [2017];  Leicestershire County Council v AB & Ors [2018]; Re P (A Child) [2018] –  We commented on three recent published judgments, involving judicial attempts to salvage (and prevent future) poor practice from police, councils and the lower courts. See Three examples of how not to do family justice. (Commentary also on Re P at Suespicious Minds and DB Law):


Re C [2018] – Rebecca Carr-Hopkins and Tracy Rydin-Orwin (ICI trainers) and Andrea Landini (Director, Family ReIations Institute), explained how attachment assessments can be safely used and transparently evaluated, in response to our post on Re C where things had gone wrong.  See The responsible use of attachment assessments for court (a guest post, with thanks):


Chidzoy v. British Broadcasting Corporation [2018]  – A rare foray into employment law to explain the impact of talking about a case while still on oath. See Litigants claim struck out for discussing case during break in giving evidence – a cautionary tale:


Hart v Hart; Borg v El ZubaidyLukjanenko v Medway Council – We asked Why doesn’t the family court punish professionals who break the rules?, in response to twitter feedback on the blog about committing litigants to prison for disobeying orders:


The verdict from the inquest into Ellie Butler’s death – The coroner found that Ellie was unlawfully killed but the evidence did not support a conclusion that acts or omissions by  agencies probably (or even possibly), contributed to her death. We’ll update our time-line when we can. (Inquests are generally heard in public. Verdicts and reasons are not routinely published although they may be. See for example the review of evidence, findings and conclusion, from the fresh inquest into Poppi Worthington’s death.)

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust v Evans & Ors 2018 – Judgments were published from the High Court and Court of Appeal decisions, while the Supreme Court confirmed the parent’s had lodged a further application for permission to appeal. Views are many and varied. We’ve yet to see any detailed analysis:



The court modernisation programme – The Lord Chief Justice addressed the Association of District Judges Annual Conference 2018, on court modernisation including for family law. See also the Digitalisation of Tribunals:What we know and what we need to know by the Public Law Project and Clive Anderson’s Radio 4 programme, Unreliable Evidence, which featured a panel discussion on the Online Court:


Law reporting and Open Justice in a Digital World – Paul Magrath (Trustee of the Transparency Project) spoke at the Association of Women Lawyers about the future of law reporting. Slides to follow:


IPSO under judicial review – The JR claim brought on the application of Jonathan Coulter challenging the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) over its complaint handling procedure, was listed for hearing on 17th April, following permission from the High Court last October. The challenge includes IPSO’s refusal to investigate complaints not brought by the individual(s) most directly affected and allowing papers to publish misleading and inaccurate information as ‘opinion’. See Case Preview: R (on the application of Coulter) v IPSO:Ground breaking judicial review challenge to IPSO at Inforrm and How IPSPO cherry-picks complaints by Brian Cathcart at Byline. (We wrote here about the Transparency Project’s own experience of having IPSO decline to investigate a complaint – even of inaccuracy, where it’s not supposed to matter, on the basis that it was brought by the ‘wrong person’:


Forthcoming: The Inaugural Sir Nicholas Wall Lecture to be delivered by Lady Hale on Openness and Privacy in Family Court Proceedings – Not surprisingly this event is already fully booked, though no doubt a transcript of the lecture will be published in due course:


Forthcoming: 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. No booking required:



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