• 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 Daily Mail – We questioned whether the Daily Mail report, Fewer women seek divorce as they fear losing their own cash in the wake of a divorce from a less well-off husband was based on an actual study / report at all. See Meal for Life…Again:


The Times – Appeared to suggest that their ‘campaign’ brought about the Justice Secretary announcement of a ‘review’ into ‘no fault divorce’. See Justice secretary to review divorce laws after Times campaign [our emphasis]. Others expressed a slightly different view:


The NSPCC and others  – Legal commentators questioned the impact of the language of ‘disclosure’, to describe child allegations, prompted by this NSPCC survey request. Mind your language. What’s wrong with ‘disclosure‘ and Listening to children and ‘disclosure’ at Child Protection Resource and DB Law explain why. We’ve emailed the NSPCC on it and will update when we can. (There may also be more on this via the forthcoming Transparency Project guide on expert evidence, the free public lecture on child sexual abuse and assessing risk by Jo Delahunty, and at Child Protection Conference 2018):


The Guardian – Some asked whether this headline – Man accuses hospital of ‘rushing to kill’ brain-damaged son – went beyond the public interest in reporting parental protest against court decisions about medical treatment of their children:


The TimesReported John Hemming on whether not naming a man committed to prison, in the published judgment of that decision, was adequate. We agreed:

Transparency Positive

The Bureau Local (offshoot of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism) – Dug out the local stories behind national headlines that mattered, this week, following a four month investigation into local council spending.

Is Surrey the next council in crisis? by Gareth Davies, was the basis of the Times front page, Surrey, UK’s richest county, hit by £100m cash crisis. It also fed news and comment in the Guardian,  BBC News and World at One (7:04). See also Councils “dangerously close to brink” as half plan to cut spending on vulnerable children from the Bureau Local.

The Bureau Local is a journo-tech team set up by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) to help local journalists interrogate challenging local council datasets for crucial public interest stories:


Linker of the week

The Guardian – Linked their report of the fostering stocktake report to the report itself for their readers, and let them know it’s publication date:


BBC News – Linked their report on a funding crisis in councils to the local government finance survey and other source material:



J (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 115 (06 February 2018) – The Court of Appeal examined the issue of unrepresented litigants cross-examining alleged victims, including as to rights of audience of Mckenzie Friends. See Child contact, non-molestation and mckenzie friends at Suespicious Minds:


HB Care and Placement Orders – Judgment from a legally ‘ordinary’ family court case (plainly of the highest importance to the family concerned), which (unusually) included the ‘transparency’ decision making:  This judgment is one which in accordance with the President’s Guidance on Publication of Judgments would normally fall to be published. I will listen to any representations in respect of the publication of this judgment and, if it is to be published, whether any further anonymisation of this transcript would be required for that purpose.



A government review into sustaining the newspaper industry – The Prime Minister announced a review of options to sustain the national and local press, provoking a range of responses. Here’s a few from the Times; the GuardianBBC News; the Radio 4 Media Show (with Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport);  Brian Cathcart; The Conversation; and the Cardiff Centre for Community Journalism:


Child sexual abuse and assessing risk – Jo Delahunty QC’s next free public talk at Gresham College London on 1st March 2018 (And catch up any missed lectures here):


Child Protection Conference 2019 – Will take place on 15th September at a London venue exploring risk of future emotional harm as a basis for removing children from parents:


Parental Alienation: Understanding, assessment and intervention for children and families  approved training in London on May 10th for social workers, FCAs, psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, Guardians and anyone who works with children and families.


News publishing in the digital age – What role for regulation? – A free City University and Impress joint event on 19th February 2018. Booking required.


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