• 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 Daily Mail – IPSO ruled against us on our complaint against the Daily Mail about the headline: Nurse’s one-year-old son is taken from her care after she let him sit in a Bob The Builder toy car that was ‘inappropriate’ for his age. We discussed the process and decision in Bob the Builder – can IPSO fix it?:


The SunReported in depth on some of those profiting from struggling councils without enough in-house foster carers, as numbers entering care rise relentlessly. See FAT CAT CARE Parents who’ve lost kids in shadowy secret courts slam ruthless millionaires cashing in on UK’s fostering crisis. There’s no question that this is an issue of genuine public interest for children and the public purse, but we questioned the apparent lack of investigation into choice of parent case studies.  See Freedom versus responsibility when the press report on care proceedings: Round Two:


The Times – Offered a series of reports on harm caused to a young autistic woman by way of her court of protection approved care plan. Pending any published judgment we simply note the striking difference between what the Times considered an accurate and balanced headline / report before reading the court evidence they’d applied for and were to receive that day (Autistic woman ‘pimped out’ in care scandal: Agency allowed her to have sex with many strangers so she might ‘learn from mistakes) and the report they published just after (Care scandal: Men took full advantage of autistic woman’s care plan). See also here and hereThe Guardian  reported the first hearing in the High Court last Wednesday:



The Telegraph (then others) Reported the Court of Appeal decision in ABC & Ors v Telegraph Media Group Ltd [2018] without linking to the published judgment. Whilst the issues are wider than family justice, on the matter of freedom of expression, we are as puzzled as everyone else as to why Lord Hain felt it his duty to name the businessman who had obtained interim injunctions against the Daily Telegraph, ahead of the intended expedited full trial. The Judicial Office took to twitter to flag the interim nature of the injunction and the two published judgments in response to some press reports. See also Secret Barrister’s summary at I News (no links to the judgments here either):


The Telegraph – We responded to Divorcing women should be shown value of their husband’s pension Age UK says by explaining how the law already provides for this. See Pension mention: Ensuring you know about pensions when you get divorced:


The Guardian – Blog to follow on Parents ‘weaponising’ domestic violence orders, claims charity: Families Needs Fathers alleges non-molestation orders are being used fraudulently to obtain legal aid in the Guardian a couple of weeks ago now. (Though we’ve said most of it before in response to BBC and Telegraph stories platforming the same un-evidenced FNF claims in July).


Transparency Postive

BBC Radio 4 File on Four Featured Bethany, a detained autistic teenager, as an example of government failure to fulfil its promise in 2011 that people with learning disabilities would no longer be ‘stuck’ in unsuitable institutions. Following Walsall BC’s unsuccessful application to restrict Bethany’s Dad’s online posts about her care, he has now tweeted that she has been moved to what seems a much safer and happier environment.  We commented in Reporting restrictions on Bethany’s dad – children’s rights or concealing system failure? The Times also reported Walsall’s application. There’s no published judgment because the judge allowed the council to withdraw its applcation and pay all legal costs:



O (A child: No Available Secure Accommodation) [2018] and T (A Child) [2018] – We explained the judgments from these recent decisions, involving lack of appropriate secure placements for young people. See Children and young people’s mental health and well-being: yet more judicial concern about the lack of adequate provision of care, guest post by Camilla Parker. See also the judgment from Hayden J’s decision in D, (A Child) [2018] published on Thursday:


Re H (Children) [2018] – Suespicious Minds analysed the judgment from this High Court decision of the (now) ex-president, examining what the  family court can and can’t do when faced with delays in making care proceedings decisions for young children because of other statutory bodies like housing or police. See Delays Inflicted by Other Public Bodies.

P (Sexual Relations and Contraception) v.2 [2018] – The Times reported the judgment from this challenging High Court decision:



Guidance issued to court staff on supporting media access  – We responded to the new HMCTS guidance here. The family court guidance itself is here:


Nothing to hide – what’s wrong with covert recordings?’ – The speakers for this Family Justice Council debate in Leeds on 3rd December, on using covert recordings in family law, were announced. (Including Transparency Project Chair Lucy Reed). See here for the speakers and how to book.

Allegations of domestic abuse in the family courts in London on 22nd November – The Transparency Project announced this Panel Event, sponsored by the Legal Education Fund and Bloomsbury. Details of confirmed speakers (now including Rights of Women) and ticket booking are here:


The Open Family Court called for social workers for it’s first Workshop in Bristol on 3rd November – See here for more information:



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