• 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 Oxford Mail – We’ve barely commented on media reports of family law since the last Round Up. But Coma Research (and others) did question the language of ‘battle’ in this Oxford Mail report:


Transparency Positive

The Mirror – Whatever your view, it was unusual to see a tabloid media report calling for proper support for social workers on the ground, in preference to vilification later, after a future child death. The report claimed a discrepancy between (unnamed) new governments ‘stats’ on social worker caseload numbers and what social workers on the ground say. (Ps- we’ve ignored the ‘Worboy’s’ legal aid headline advertised in the middle):



The Press Association – Reported a legally ‘ordinary’ family court decision from a published judgment, without guiding readers to it or linking to it:



X (a child – adoption order) [2018] EWFC (27 February 2018) – Judgment from a  legally ‘ordinary’ family court decision, featuring an unusual judicial effort to (also) secure support for a parent after the proceedings ended:


Kerman v Akhmedova [2018] EWCA Civ 307 (27 February 2018) Judgment was published from a Court of Appeal decision that a solicitor was not unfairly asked to waive privilege, when a summoned at short notice, to give evidence on administrative arrangements about the assets of his client (a Russian businessman, involved in a £453m divorce). The Gazette reported:



Crisis in care – crisis in confidence? – Our piece on rising care numbers and trust in care & adoption etc proceedings, was first published at Family Law and is re-posted here with permission and thanks. We also sent it as our submission to the Care Crisis Review. See (just one of many) constructive twitter conversations, and a Pink Tape post (by Lucy Reed also Chair of the Transparency Project) that followed:


Press regulation – The government formally u-turned on holding the second part of Lord Justice Leveson’s Press Inquiry, and pledged (again) to get legislation to incentivise publishers to join an approved press regulator, off the statute book altogether.  We explained and analysed in Press regulation: the end of the road for the Leveson reforms:


Dealing with sex abuse: How does the Family Court assess risk? – We flagged some key points from the latest Gresham College Lecture, one of a series by Jo Delahunty QC, aimed at making the family court more transparent:


Whatever happened to the judiciary’s McKenzie Friends consultation? – We examined the lack of response so far to the (long closed) judicial consultation on Mckenzie Friends, and why this matters for families and justice. (See also the short piece on Mckenzie Friends on Inside Out London (9 mins 20 – 18 mins 53):


New approach to media cases at the Royal Courts of Justice is a welcome development –  We re-published an edited version of an article first published at Communications Law journal and PA Media Lawyer. With permission and thanks:


Guidance on parents recording meetings with social workers – We re-published our recording guidance, with updates (detailed at the foot of the guide). Including for Re B (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1579, in which the President invited the Family Justice Council to consider multi-disciplinary, official guidance. (See Covert Recording: A hot potato lob by the Court of Appeal): 


New guidance on allocation and transfer of cases in the family court – David Burrows discussed the President’s guidance in What’s the difference between an allocation and a transfer?:


Open Meeting at the Family Justice Council – The FJC invited applications by 29th March, for their open meeting on 23rd April, which will include a (pre submitted questions) Q&A :


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