• 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


We’ve not commented on mainstream press misreports of the family courts in recent weeks, but we have asked questions about what look like inaccurate statements about the family courts, in other settings that matter for public confidence and informed debate.

See Domestic Abuse – exaggeration is not required and our request to Jess Phillips MP, to clarify the source of her statement in the House of Commons that, In cases of the most severe domestic abuse, 38% of violent perpetrators—people who have been criminalised for abuse—are granted unsupervised access to their children:


See also Just how close was 3-year-old ‘AJS’ to being adopted because of the unlawful immigration detention of her father?. On inaccuracies in the information, released by the legal firm representing the father in his judicial review against the Home Office, as to what the family court said about adoption:


Transparency positive

BBC News Reported with notable accuracy and restraint (yet no loss of a good story) in the face of inaccurate information made available to them. (See Just how close was 3-year-old ‘AJS’ to being adopted because of the unlawful immigration detention of her father? above).


Linker of the week(s)

The Guardian – Amelia Hill comprehensively linked readers to the primary sources behind her report on withdrawal of funding from the FDAC central unit. See Courts for addicted parents work – so why are they being stripped of support?  

(No sign, however, of any links to family court judgments – at least ahead of the outgoing President, Sir James Munbys’ apparent exhortation to the press and broadcasters to start linking, at a press conference on Friday):



i News (among others) – Delighted as we were that i News reported Owens v Owens, with Transparency Project member Polly Morgan writing for them, the editorial decision not to include her link to the family court judgment, was disappointing:


Care Appointments – Reported the judgment from a fact finding decision about injuries to a child, with no link to ‘the ruling published by the judge’. Ditto for their report of the judgment from Owens v Owens and several other reports:



Owens v Owens – We explained the controversial, much reported judgment from the Supreme Court decision. See Owens v Owens: nobody panic at the Transparency Project. See also Polly Morgan at i News the following day:


Mills v Mills – Polly Morgan debunked the old chestnut of ‘meal tickets for life’ again in response to another Supreme Court decision about joint lives spousal maintenance orders. See Hit on the head by an old chestnut:


Williams v Hackney – We summarised the judgment from the Supreme Court decision about s.20 in Supreme Court emphasises councils’ duties to inform parents fully about s. 20. See also updated guidance at Child Protection Resource:



The public interest in transparent decision making, including at the social work regulator (HCPC) – See our original 2017 blog posts; a recent email exchange between Slough Children’s Services and Louise Tickle (journalist and TP member); and this Community Care analysis (incorporating the the Transparency Project’s position). Blog to follow:


The Public Accounts Committee report on the court modernisation programme so far – We summarised the findings of the report from the PAC inquiry. See The Progress of Reform – or lack of it:


Some ‘transparency remarks’ from the outgoing President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby – See also his speech to the Family Justice Young People’s Board Conference, on the Voice of the Child:


Access to Justice and legal aid:

Resolution online survey on the impact of LASPO – Legal practitioners can complete this here.

Enforcing Human Rights – The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights reported in depth on problems with meaningful implementation of legal ‘rights’ since the 2013 legal aid cuts. See summaries at the Law Society and ICLR Weekly Notes.


Developing the Transparency Project – We are really pleased to be able to announce that we have been awarded further funding from the Legal Education Foundation, to recruit our first member of staff. Details to follow….watch this space…


Supporting the Transparency Project – Thank you to those who have generously donated here so far, and to those who support us in other important ways:



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