• 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


Sky and BBC News – Wrongly suggested that the decision of the Supreme Court in Steinfeld and Keidan means the appellants can now have their civil partnership. See About that Civil Partnership Case…:


BBC News and BBC 5 LiveHow I found out my husband had married another woman (also here). We’re keeping an eye out for the judgment.that local reports say was ordered for publication, with the parties named.

The Daily Mail and BBC News – The Daily Mail declined to correct so we’re involving the regulator, IPSO. See Bob the Builder: No we won’t! for the initial complaint and reply, and How effective is press regulation when it comes to accuracy for what we intend to say to IPSO. (The BBC have amended their headline):


Transparency positive

The Bureau Local –  Launched a pilot scheme for making financial data councils must publish under the the local government transparency code 2016 truly accessible – starting with the key matter of reserves. And released another round of funding to enable local stories with wider public interest to be told.


Linker of the week

The Guardian – Linked their editorial (drawing links between this decision and calls for better cohabitant rights more generally), to the published judgment from Steinfeld and Keidan.



The Daily Mail Reported the judgment from K and O (Children) [2018] without link or reference to where readers might find it:



Northamptonshire County Council v The Lord Chancellor (via the Legal Aid Agency) [2018] EWHC: On families keeping their HRA damages awards – Guest blog post to follow on this High Court decision appending new Legal Aid Agency guidance saying they will no longer claw back HRA damages awards through the statutory charge, if certain procedural steps are followed.  See Family Law Week. See also twitter on whether, in practice, this will solve the problem of highly vulnerable children (in particular), unfairly losing their HRA damages awards:


G (A Child) [2017] EWCA: Confirmation that the legislative framework for non consensual adoption is Human Rights Act compliant – The Court of Appeal dismissed a parent’s appeal against refusal of permission to oppose an adoption order, sought on this basis. I don’t want my child to be adopted, at Child Protection Resource, discusses the case in the context of what parents can meaningfully do to challenge adoptions, including by early application.

See also P (A Child)[2018] EWCA for a parent’s successful appeal against care and placement orders brought straight after those orders were made.

And Lisle-Mainwaring v Associated Newspapers Ltd [2018] EWCA on the procedural importance of asking for permission to appeal at the hearing at which judgment is delivered, or at least applying for a short adjournment in order to consider doing so:


M & N (Children): : Local authority gathering, preserving and disclosing evidence) [2018] EWFC[2018] EWFC Non-binding judicial advice on how social workers should take, preserve and disclose notes of key evidence like parental accounts of  injury to a baby – Failure to do so lead to the collapse of this care proceedings trial after young children had been separated from parents for over 6 months.  See Suespicious Minds. And twitter comments here and here, asking how social workers can, in practice, be best enabled to do so:


P-S Children [2018] EWCA: Important Court of Appeal guidance on the right approach when considering Special Guardians and the making of SGO’s in care proceedings – See Family Law Week  and Suespicious Minds:


Bruzas v Saxton [2018] EWHC – Judgment published from a directions hearing with significant public interestinvolving a paralegals ‘whistleblowing’ in the face of legal privilege – See Suspicious Mind. Holman J described it as:

 ..raising new and grave issues in relation to one of the most cardinal areas of our law, namely legal professional privilege…I ..direct that this difficult and interesting case is now considered at the highest possible level, namely that of the President of the Family Division.


XW v XH (2) Reporting Restriction Order [2018] EWFC Baker J’s decision that publication of a redacted and anonymised financial remedies judgment, with a Reporting Restriction Order, proportionately balanced competing rights. The 2017 financial remedy judgment itself is here):



Sir Andrew McFarlane’s speech to Families Need Father’s on private law proceedings – We flagged key points in The New Normal. The suggestion of temporary standing orders based on judicial guidance on typical levels of contact, absent safeguarding features, attracted a range of views:


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