• 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


BBC News – In the last Roundup we flagged a BBC news report on child abduction, with an inaccurate description of ‘habitual residence’. We went on to explain the legal term and why it matters, in ‘Habitual Residence’ – sloppy explanations of the law about child abduction:


The Telegraph – Twitter commentators flagged the public interest in publication of judgments from family court decisions that are misreported by the press, to the detriment of public understanding.  With reference to this Telegraph headline on Ladwa v Chapman – Unemployed female law graduate ‘housewife’wins half of ex-girlfriend’s £1.7 m home (sorry paywall): 


Transparency Positive 

The Times – Tower Hamlet Council’s communications lead blogged (at innovative Comms2point0) on why and how they challenged last August’s ‘Christian child forced into Muslim foster care’ story in the Times, including by complaint to IPSO. HHJ Sapnara’s unusual decision to publish a court order putting key facts into the public domain is acknowledged as central (the council investigation was also later published). Tower Hamlets offer strategic tips to other council communications leads who might find themselves in a similar position and highlight what they saw as barriers to achieving redress through IPSO.  The Transparency Project wrote about the case here:



The Times – Usefully reported (sorry paywall) a Court of Appeal decision illustrating the continuing impact of government delay in legislating to end cross examination by alleged abusers of alleged victims in the family courts. A link to the freely available published judgment would have added value for readers. (Lucy Reed, Chair of the Transparency Project is also quoted. The Transparency Project have previously explained the case in Judge takes over father’s cross-examination in case involving rape allegations – and it ends up being unfair on everyone involved):


Linker of the week

Eastern Daily Press – Confident, transparent journalism, linking readers to the three Norfolk serious case reviews that formed the source of their report. Thanks Tom Bristow and the Eastern Daily Press:



Hampshire County Council v C.E. and N.E. (Urgent preliminary ruling procedure – Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in matters of parental responsibility: Opinion) [2018] EUECJ C-325/18PPU_O (07 August 2018) – We explained this Opinion of the Advocate General in the European Court of Justice and it’s legal status. See Leaving the country to evade care proceedings – how does the court in England & Wales get your children back? (See also this 2018 Irish Examiner report of the Irish Court of Appeal Judgment that provoked the request to the EU Court of Justice. The judgment from the Irish Court of Appeal decision doesn’t (yet?) appear to have been published. We’ll update if we see it:


Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (Asbestos Victims Support Group) [2018] EWCA Civ 1795 (31 July 2018) – Blog to follow we hope, on the judgment from this non-family Court of Appeal decision and release of court documents (including in family cases). See this twitter thread from @Greg_Callus in the meantime:


C (permission to withdraw; medical evidence; interim threshold not crossedJudgment from a legally ‘ordinary’ family court decision that was plainly of the highest importance to the young parents concerned. HHJ Vincent’s decision to have her judgment published and shared with treating clinicians so lessons could be learned about assessing marks on children from photographic evidence in particular, may also be of interest to other families and practitioners:



Talking about family law, including social work practice – We featured a guest post view from a practising social worker on his experience of misuse of s.17 of the Children Act. See Oh I’m sorry, did I forget to mention you don’t have to agree to this?’ When social workers forget that interventions under ‘Child in Need’ are voluntary, (and also the comments section for other views):


Transparency and the outgoing President’s press conference – The transcript was published. We highlighted some responses to press questions about transparency and gave some context in Final Presidential words on transparency:



An exciting job opportunity at the Transparency Project – We’ve now advertised the new employed role of Project Co-Ordinator. All the information and the application pack are here. Closing date 10TH SEPTEMBER 2018:


The Open Family Court: Louise Tickle (journalist and Transparency Project Member) launched a new collaborative project. This blog post explains the plan for collaborative exploration of options for recalibrating the balance between privacy in the family courts to protect vulnerable children, and freedom of expression. Expect a series of consultative events and workshops over the next nine months. Interested family members and professionals are invited to email Louise Tickle at openfamilycourt@gmail.com, explaining their interest in the issue:


Child Protection Conference 2018 – Don’t miss this Transparency Project supported conference on risk of emotional harm and more, in London on 15th September 2018. Information here and tickets here:


The voice of the child in family court proceedings on Youtube – Jo Delahunty QC’s (April 2018) Gresham lecture, on how we do (and should) hear children in the family court room, is now even more accessible via YouTube. (The lecture notes are available here):


Tackling the Care Crisis: Familes Driving Reform – A Your Family Your Voice Alliance (Family Rights Group) conference in Sheffield on 29th October 2018. Information and registration here:



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