• 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


Our posts this week have been geared to flagging or explaining family court judgments.

But see Void, Valid and Very Confusing – What is the Status of Sharia Marriages in the UK? for inaccurate headlines accompanying most reports of Akhter v Khan, including in the Times, BBC NewsDaily MailGuardian, and Telegraph:


BBCNews – See also twitter responses to this BBC News piece which seemed to slip into inaccuracy by trying to simplify complex law for its readers: Under the Hague Convention, which governs cases of child custody waged across international borders, a child’s base is considered to be the country in which he or she has lived longest:


The Daily Mail and others – Reported an apparent contempt decision from proceedings concerning Akhmedov v Akhmedov. We’ve yet to see a judgment but see Kerman v Akhmedov from a related Court of Appeal decision for links to previous financial settlement decisions.


Transparency Positive

The Daily Mail (You Magazine) – The Mail’s Real Life Story: I felt airbrushed out of my son’s life’: How adoptive parents cope with their children’s reunion with their birth family played a role in informing twitter discussion on some issues affecting adoptive and birth families, including social media training. (Provoked initially by observations that the review of practice in the lead up to Ellie Scully-Hicks murder by her adoptive father, did not extend to learning recommendations about the information sharing with the birth family):


Linker of the week

Care Appointments – Linked readers (indirectly via their earlier report) to Cardiff and Vale Safeguarding Board’s review of agency and inter-agency practice in the lead up to the murder of Elsie Scully-Hicks by her adoptive father. Also provided a useful time-line:



Akhter v Khan – We explained the judgment from a High Court decision (to find a Nikah marriage ceremony to be a void marriage) that many, including lawyers, found challenging. See Void, Valid and Very Confusing – What is the Status of Sharia Marriages in the UK?:


PS v BP [2018] EWHC 1987 (Fam) (27 July 2018) – We also explained this Judgment from an appeal against unsafe findings of fact, where a family court judge had tried to cross examine the mother on behalf of the father accused of rape. See Judge takes over father’s cross-examination in case involving rape allegations – and it ends up being unfair on everyone involved:


An NHS Trust v Y – A Supreme Court decision that so long as families and doctors are agreed, after a robust best interests decision process, then an application to court before withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, is not required. @JennyKitzinger explained for BBC News here. See also this press statement from the Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Centre at Cardiff University:



The Transparency Project will be recruiting a Project Co-ordinator! – Please do share this post to help us reach as many potential applicants as possible. And sign up to our weekly email here for notification once the job advert goes live (around 13th of August):


Child Protection Conference 2018: Future risk of emotional harm: UPDATE  Professor Lauren Devine is now confirmed to speak on her important research investigating the reasons for the rise in Care Order applications at the Child Protection Resource 2018 Conference on 15th September. The conference topic more generally is Future Risk of Emotional Harm – How can this justify the removal of children from their parents’ care?  will be launching their Guidance Note on use of experts in family proceedings.  Special Guardians and Adopters Together will also be sharing the results of their connections survey. Full details including all the speakers at the TP events page here. Ticket sales at Eventbrite here:


Publication of the transcript of Lady Hale’s May 2018 speech at the Nuffield Foundation Anniversary Event Challenges in the justice system and the contribution of empirical research is available at the Supreme Court website and includes reference to family court transparency (from page 8) and the family justice observatory (page 16) among much more.


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