• 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


“A very provocative broadside” – are women really destroying marriage? Guest post from Jo Edwards, former Chair of Resolution, in response to a Daily Mail opinion piece, An author’s VERY provocative broadside: Controlling wives and vengeful divorcees are putting men like me off marriage for life:


A glut of transparency positives this week:

BASW (British Association of Social Workers) response to Eastenders at the BBC – BASW wrote to the BBC as promised. We’ve updated Eastenders – gritty real life drama or just running down social workers again? to reflect their constructive, open letter.


Knocking at the door to the family courts: two journalists’ experiences, two years apart and Trying to report the family courts: a BBC reporter’s experience – Louise Tickle, Transparency Project member and freelance journalist was in conversation with BuzzFeedUK reporter Emily Dugan about applying for permission to report evidence from the family courts. Sanchia Berg documented her efforts to report the family courts on the day the law changed in 2009, to allow journalists into many family court hearings for the first time (albeit they still needed perrnission, as now, to actually report what goes on):


BBC Radio 4 – Sanchia Berg investigated barriers to children speaking directly to family court judges in proceedings about themselves. Notable for capturing the powerful voice of Oscar, aged 9, the report is still available at the Today Programme (7.19am):


BBC News and the Victoria Derbyshire Show  – How I got my children back reported the Family Drug and Alcohol Project, through the voice of a Father who recovered from addiction in time to resume care of his son:


The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – An in depth investigation of cuts to refuge provision in Revealed: Thousands of vulnerable women turned away as refuge funding is cut:


BuzzFeed News – Emily Dugan’s interview of Stephen Wildblood, senior family law judge:


‘Linker’ of the week:


Not a link to be seen from mainstream news publications to a family court judgment this week.




The Times (the Brief) – Reported the decision of the President in B (A Child) under the headline Divorcing parents using secret recordings in battle for custody, says Sir James Munby with no link or signpost to the published judgment. We tried to signpost readers through the Times comments section and grabbed a screenshot. (It’s also unhelpful for court cases about disputes in children’s living arrangements to be characterised in the press as ‘battles’. Nor has the term ‘custody’ itself been used in legislation or the family courts for several years):


Mainstream news media publications generally – We saw no mainstream news publication, (among the many reporting the decision of the Supreme Court in Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council) link or signpost readers to the (already) published court judgment:



B (A Child), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 1579 (18 October 2017) – Appeal was allowed against a decision of His Honour Judge Bellamy to send the judgment from a child arrangements order decision for publication (though not on the grounds sought by the father).  The judgment featured evidence obtained by the father through covert recording of a social worker and cafcass officer. The President also observed a pressing need for formal guidance through the multi disciplinary forum of the Family Justice Council. The judgment refers to Parents recording social workers – A guidance note for parents and professionals by the Transparency Project. Links to previous blogs on covert recording at the Transparency Project, Pink Tape and Suespicious Minds are available at this new Pink Tape blog by Lucy Reed, Chair of the Transparency Project:




Flying under the Radar: Experiencing the Court of Protection Transparency Pilot as an academic researcher – A guest post by Gillian Loomes, PhD researcher at the University of Leeds Law School:


How Court of Protection Judges decide best interests in end of life cases – A blog at Medium, ‘prompted by interesting twitter discussions with Doctors’, by Tor Butler-Cole:


The Family Court : Should privacy trump accountability? – The Transparency Project will be hosting a debate on 5 December in Bristol to mark the publication of our Guidance Note for families and professionals : Publication of Family Court Judgments. The details are here. More information and ticket-booking to follow.


Myths and Monsters of Child Protection – The Open Nest platformed an array of powerful voices, including adopted and fostered adults. The conference featured Lemn Sissay and coincided with the launch of National Adoption Week. The following blogs / reports give some flavour of discussions:


Parental Alienation – Clarity at Last – A blog at Marilyn Stowe, featuring comments from speakers at a conference hosted by Families Need Fathers, including Anthony Douglas of Cafcass and His Honour Judge Stephen Wildblood:


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