• 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 Times – Tower Hamlets published an agreed statement of the findings from their inquiry into the foster care placement reported by the Times (Christian girl forced into Muslim foster care: Concern for girl who ‘had cross removed and was encouraged to learn Arabic) . We updated our blog here: The muslim foster carer case again – what else has emerged? Links to reports from the BBC and the Guardian on the Tower Hamlets statement are within. Comment we’ve since seen since on ‘the Times fostering story’ includes: Details of care cases are concealed for good reason. The press must respect that – a Guardian Social Care blog view (considered further below);The New Statesman (paywall) with the Times should apologise for it’s reporting of the Muslim foster care story;  Zelo Street Blog with Muslim Fostering: The Times is Toast; Brian Cathcart at Byline with THE TIMES AND THE TOWER HAMLETS FOSTER CARE STORY: BAD JOURNALISM; and lots of twitter discussion e.g: here, here and here:


The Daily Mail – We commented on First couples get chance to apply for divorce online: ‘Really positive’ trial hopes to make the process simpler and cheaper. See Online divorces: Click here to end the marriage?:


Linker of the Week

The Telegraph  – Olivia Rudgard,  Social Affairs Correspondent, linked readers to the published judgment (Grasso v Naik (twenty-one irregular divorces) from her news report at the Telegraph, Couples could be committing accidental bigamy as top High Court judge rules 21 divorces are void:



The Guardian – Not only didn’t link readers to the statement published at the Tower Hamlets website they were reporting, but seemed to claim exclusive sight of an official report, raising twitter eyebrows:


BuzzFeedNews – With no link to the published judgment of His Honour Judge Wildblood and grandparents statement, likely to have been of  significant interest to many readers of this important news report.


The Times – A Times Law piece, How should judges deal with covert recordings in child access cases? with no link for readers to the President’s judgment being reported, B (A Child), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 1579 (18 October 2017):


Transparency positives

The Telegraph – Again, warrant a mention for their decision to link readers to the published judgment and willingness to engage on the issue (see this twitter conversation). Decisions to link readers to family court judgments being reported are alarmingly rare across all main stream news publications:


Guardian Social Care – Platforming a range of voices on press reporting of family court cases. Details of care cases are concealed for good reason. The press must respect that, is a blog by Joanna Nicolas responding (at least in part) to David Niven (former Chair of BASW) in the Guardian last month (Why can’t social workers share success stories with the media?)  The Transparency Project debate, Should Privacy Trump Accountability, in Bristol on December aims to facilitate further discussion. (We also hope to blog in response to this piece itself, when possible):




ABC (A child), Re [2017] EWFC B75 (30 October 2017) – The decision of His Honour Judge Stephen Wildblood in the Bristol Family Court on a grandmother’s application to publish an anonymised statement naming Gloucestershire county council, on her experience applying to care for her granddaughter where the council thought she should be adopted. Judgment from this legally ‘ordinary’ decision was published under the Transparency Guidance. The case has inspired much comment from several  perspectives, including:


Re B (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1579 – We’ve updated our blog on the case of Re B (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1579 to include submissions now received from the Association of Lawyers for Children. See Covert Recording: A hot potato lob by the Court of Appeal:



The Transparency Project debate in Bristol on 5th December 2017 – A reminder that the last remaining tickets for Should Privacy Trump Accountability are available at Eventbrite:


The Court of the Future: HMCTS Change Event at MOJ – ICLR– Paul Magrath, of ICLR and the Transparency Project reported an event at the Ministry of Justice to showcase its overhaul of the court system. (See also Penelope Gibbs Click here to plead guilty – the latest on online courts at Transform Justice on digital reform more generally):



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