• 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 Guardian – Reported new draft guidelines for Cafcass Officers on how to deal with cases of suspected parental alienation, in Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner. Blog to follow – on the draft guidelines which don’t seem to be published (including at Cafcass), and some of the reporting. We attach a few twitter comments of many about the initiative.

Other press reports include the Independent, the Sun, the Yorkshire Post and the Daily Mail. None link to the draft guidelines under discussion nor comment on when they may be publicly available.

See also the Westminster Dialogues debate last week. The event included a talk from Sarah Parsons, Cafcass Assistant Director. We understand that Only Dads/Only Mums are putting all the speeches on their blog. (Presentations by Sarah Parsons and also Dr Damian McCann, psychotherapist and lecturer at Tavistock Relationships are already available):


The Guardian – We responded to a Guardian Social Care Blog by Joanna Nicolas in Breaking the cycle of mistrust – sometimes less is not more.  Her blog, Details of care cases are concealed for good reason. The press must respect that, was itself a response (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 conversation goes on in the lead up to the Transparency Project debate, Should Privacy Trump Accountability, in Bristol on 5th December. The last remaining tickets are available at Eventbrite::


The Times – Launched ‘their’ campaign for divorce law reform last week. The campaign was welcomed by those who have researched and campaigned on the issue for some time now:


Linker of the Week

The Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard at the Telegraph reporting the family courts for the second week in a row, with a link to the published family court judgment, H (A Child : Surrogacy Breakdown) [2017] EWCA:


The Guardian – Linked readers from their report UK banker being kept alive against wishes of family and doctors, to the published judgment in NHS Trust v Y & Anor [2017] EWHC 2866 (QB) (13 November 2017)


The Guardian – Provided readers with a link to a historical family court judgment and summary by Family Law Week, mentioned in this article, Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner (See also above. We will be commenting further on this story):



A Child : Surrogacy Breakdown [2017] EWCA Civ 1798 (17 November 2017) – The published judgment from the Court of Appeal decision to dismiss an appeal against a 2016 decision by Theis J.  (Reported by the Telegraph here). The Court of Appeal were also critical of the surrogate parents for “unwisely and unaccountably” generating publicity about the case, and made an order preventing them from speaking to the press (Para 29). Blog to follow:


NHS Trust v Y & Anor [2017] EWHC 2866 (QB) (13 November 2017) – The judgment from Monday’s High Court decision (appeal expected). We anticipate legal commentaries will follow. In the meantime a twitter reminder of the importance for families and the free resource @AGoodDeath :



Legal Bloggers – A Level Playing Field? – We re-published this month’s Transparency column from Family Law as a blog post with their kind permission. It makes the case for amending procedural rules that allow journalists to attend most family court cases, to include a limited category of others, including qualified legal bloggers. We will upload previous articles in due course.


The Right to Justice: Political slogan or something more sinister – David Burrows questions the notion that politicians can grant a ‘right to justice’, with reference to last month’s final report of the Bach Commission:


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