• 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 and the Times – We commented on claims that  figures show a rise in numbers of women declining divorce because of fewer spousal maintenance orders. See Your money or your wife and some twitter comments:


The Guardian – Louise Tickle’s article, The state has a terrible secret: it kidnaps our children, provoked strong responses, particularly from some social workers. (Louise is also a Transparency Project member). We commented in Secret State Kidnap – breathless headline or blunt reality?. See also this twitter thread:


Transparency positive

Daily Mail – Published our comment signposting readers to the published family court judgment. This is a first in our experience of mainstream news publishers (though the Mail did also publish our comment with a HMCS clarification recently):


Linker(s) of the week

BuzzFeedNews (Emily Dugan) and BBC News – Linked readers from A Mother Who Said She Was Raped By Her Abusive Ex-Husband Had No Lawyer In A Family Court Case Against Him and Judge criticises lack of legal aid for rape claim mother (respectively) to the published judgment from JY v RY:


The Guardian – Linked readers from We can’t keep papering over the cracks. Vulnerable children need stable support to the report’s source – a review of evidence from the Education Policy Institute:



  • The Times (The Brief) – It’s hard to think of any public interest reason for The Brief not linking to the public access source behind their report – The Law Commission announcement of 4th May:


  • The Independent – Could have linked readers to the House of Commons debate itself to aid public understanding of the detail and the parliamentary process:



Hart v Hart (27 April 2018)  We aim to update earlier posts for this Court of Appeal decision to (broadly) reject Mr Hart’s appeal from HHJ Wildblood’s decision to commit him to prison for 14 months:


JY v RY [2018] EWFC B16 (27 April 2018) – Reports of this legally ‘ordinary’ (but public interest-extraordinary) decision from a District Judge in the family court included BuzzFeedNewsBBC News, and Pink Tape (by Transparency Project Chair Lucy Reed):


X (A Child) (No 6) V [2018] – The President published the positive outcome from a case where the impact of chronic shortages of secure accommodation on a child had been widely reported:


Owens v Owens – Like others, we have an eye on next week’s important Supreme Court hearing:



Press regulation – The House of Commons narrowly voted against Lords proposals for further independent enquiry into press standards etc, following the government’s U-turn on the second part of the Leveson enquiry.  The debate is here. The Guardian here report the possibility of a Lords vote on Monday that could force a further Commons vote on the issue:


Openness and privacy in family court cases – Lady Hale gave the first Sir Nicholas Wall Memorial Lecture. The transcript was quickly published here:


Evidence informed practice – The What Works Centre Consortium  provided some detail for their first of two priorities: How to safely reduce the need for children to enter care and set out their view of the challenges. (The WWC is a consortium,including Cardiff University based Cascade, funded by government to improve the research base informing children’s social care decisions. The Care Crisis Review is a Nuffield Foundation funded, Family Rights Group facilitated, review of the rise in care numbers and how to safely tackle this. The Observatory is a Nuffield Foundation funded initiative to tackle research informing family justice decision making about children, particularly court decisions. We’ll share any information we see on how these important initiatives are working together on obvious interfaces):


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