• 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 Guardian – We questioned Families Need Fathers’ claims in the Guardian about misuse of injunctions to get legal aid. (As well as the Guardian’s failure to interrogate those claims or the use of family court statistics). See Fathers’ group claims parents and lawyers fraudulently claim legal aid (again):



The Independent – With a report that neither adequately explained, nor linked readers to the accessible, methodical published family court judgment that did. We commented in An impressive judgment about a ‘car crash’ of a case (though readers had already taken to twitter, in search of the missing context of fostering for adoption, so as to make some sense of this unusual decision):


The TimesReported Lord Justice McFarlane’s speech about family law experts, with no link the full text published at the judiciary site:


Care AppointmentsReported the published judgment from PQR (Supported Parenting For Learning Disabled Parents) without linking to it:


The Daily MailReported the published judgment from A (Final Hearing: Threshold not met), with reasonable accuracy, but no link to the judgment. (Nor any clues for readers that this would have been the Mail’s sole source; that the judgment was publicly available; or where it could be found for fuller understanding):


BBC News – Reported Local Government Ombudsman findings against Cornwall Council in Why did the council ‘house’ me in a tent?, without linking readers to the Ombudsman’s report itself:


Linkers of the Week

BBC News – Linked this report to it’s source – new research from the Children Commissioner’s, Who Knows What About Me?:


The GuardianDavid Brindle, Guardian’s Public Services Editor, linked readers from his report, High Case loads risk driving away social workers, to the newly published research into social worker’s wellbeing behind it (Bath Spa University on behalf of BASW and the SWU):


Transparency Positive

BBC News – Alison Holt, Social Affairs Correspondent, brought crucial findings from the Safeguarding Pressures research by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services alive with visuals and measured, detailed reporting. See Child protection services near crisis as demand rises:


The Times

BBC Radio 4 – Made space for deeper investigation into the role of the Christian Legal Centre in representing the parents of Alfie Evans (and others), after the fast news cycle ‘story’ had left the front pages: A Tale of Belief and the Courts:



Hart v Hart – We updated on this acrimonious case, upon publication of judgments from the committal and sentencing of Mr Hart’s sister for contempt. See Imprisoned Harts:


D (A Child: Parental Alienation) – Blog to follow on this family court judgment (briefly withdrawn to correct an anonymisation error). See paras 169-173 for extracts from the recent Cafcass Cymru commissioned research and law review lead by Dr Julie Doughty at Cardiff University (also a Transparency Project Trustee) and reference to the new Cafcass Framework pathway on child contact refusal, incorporating alienating behaviours. See also Disputes between parents about seeing their children at Child Protection Resource, and twitter:


Manchester City Council Legal Services v LC & Another – A short Judgment was published from the first high court hearing in the court of protection covered by the Guardian and Times. We’ll pull all the links together in one blog shortly. In the meantime see Tor Butler-Cole at twitter then the Times:



The family court modernisation programme – We updated following an HMCTS event in The progress of Reform: Autumn 2018 update and linked to key material like the slides from the day. (See also Jo Edwards on twitter with addresses for the engagement HMCTS continue to invite and Joshua Rozenberg’s November 2018 update to his Long Read Report, Ask the Judges, at the Legal Education Foundation):


The Open Family Court – The first workshop of families and interdisciplinary practitioners discussing safely re-calibrating the balance between privacy and openness. Sarah Phillimore (transparency project member) published her view at Child Protection Resource and on twitter here:




Allegations of domestic abuse in the family courts in London on 22nd November – A Transparency Project Panel event, sponsored by the Legal Education Fund and Bloomsbury to mark the launch of our new guidance note.  Details of speakers and tickets here:


Nothing to hide – what’s wrong with covert recordings?’ in Leeds on 3rd December – Speakers include Transparency Project Chair, Lucy Reed. Full speaker information and booking here:


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