• 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




Are there other cases like Charlie’s? – We commented on the Guardian report Ten cases like Charlie Gard’s heard in English courts this year and the figures within it, obtained by the Observer from Cafcass:


Update on John Hemming’s claim in the Telegraph that a Judge took a child into care without reasons or judgment – Avoidance and obfuscation characterised the latest twitter exchange . It seems increasingly clear that neither evidence nor acknowledgement is likely to follow. The apparent lack of integrity is of concern. It further undermines Mr Hemming’s credibility with informed readers, and detracts from the occasions when Mr Hemming does make valid criticisms of the family justice system. Accurate reporting of the family justice system (including its mistakes and failures) really matters for families. (The background to this story is here in The Shaggy Dog Story Continues):


Mother wins court battle to change child’s ‘tainted’ middle name – John Bolch discussed misreporting in the Telegraph of C (A Child : Removal of forename) [2017], with the Legal Aid scandal that wasn’t:


Notably accurate (or otherwise transparency positive) reports:

It was encouraging to see the Guardian and the BBC linking readers to the full published judgment from their reports of the Presidents comments in X (A Child) (No 3) [2017] EWHC. We remain optimistic that one day this may become routine practice:



X (A Child) (No 3) [2017] EWHC – The President’s judgment was widely reported in mainstream and specialist press alike. @CelticKnotTweet signposted some of the more noteworthy reports in 1/12 A series of tweets and links about the case of Re X “blood on our hands”: 




Update on Charlie Gard case – The last stage of the litigation: facts and sourcesA neutral time-line with primary sources in support of reflection and informed comment:


Public and private, the limits of transparency in Charlie Gard’s case – an update – Further analysis, including on transparency and public understanding:


See also this twitter thread of further reflections compiled by@CelticKnotTweet:


Joint Research: CAFCASS and Women’s Aid – The ‘joint research‘ has provoked some criticism. We feature the following commentaries below:


  • Looking beyond the headlines: By Dr Sue Whitcombe (psychologist working with high conflict family breakdown and parental alienation), re-posted at the Transparency Project having been originally published via Linkedin



  • Clarification on the role Womens’ Aid apparently played in the ‘joint’ research, via twitter:


Towards a Family Justice Observatory: A Scoping Study: Main findings report of the national stakeholder consultation – The report, identifying next steps towards a new organisational structure to improve the use of evidence in the family justice system in England and Wales, is published at a dedicated project website here.  The submissions to the consultation are also published in full. Findings from the study are to be presented at a dissemination event at the Nuffield Foundation in January 2018. Research in respect of the care numbers ‘crisis’ has already been identified as a priority. Family Rights Group are facilitating a Nuffield-funded, sector-wide, review of urgent steps required to stem the ‘crisis’ of rising care numbers:



Comments on the proposed new CAFCASS Operating Framework – Twitter responses to publication of our comments about the Cafcass revised operating framework, revealed a lack of awareness that Cafcass had even published a  revised framework, let alone invited comment – suggesting more may be required for true transparency:



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