• 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




Inaccurate, misleading or distorting

This week saw some particularly worrying examples of misreporting the family courts and breaching the IPSO Editors’ Code.

Christopher Booker reported A Gifted Child in a Psychiatric Unit is Madness in the Telegraph (paywall), saying this was one of the most troubling child protection cases he’d ever come across. Our response, in light of the published judgment, is here: Seriously Inaccurate Reporting by Omission of Facts:


While the High Court documented breaches of the Editors’ Code by Sue Reid at the Daily Mail in relation to the same case, and reminded Cafcass of their responsibility to complain to IPSO on behalf of the child: Judge flags complaint on behalf of child against journalist who sneaked into hospital:


Both were neatly ‘storified’ by NearlyLegal here:


Father begs judges to reveal details of his decade long family court battle with his ex over access to their child: Our response to the Daily Mail report of a Father concerned that no judgment had ever been published from any of his family court hearings despite the transparency guidance on publication of judgments:



The Times reported falling numbers of maintenance orders under the cliched headline of Former wives give up chasing “meal ticket for life” in divorce (paywall). We commented here in Spousal Maintenance – Meal ticket for life?:


Notably accurate (or otherwise transparency positive) reports

The Guardian and the Huffington Post reported H (A Child), Re (Interim Care Order : fact finding) [2017] EWHC 518  on the basis of the published judgment (rather than the unchecked version of a parent overruled by the court). Both reports were based on press association pieces. Neither linked to the judgment:



The Daily Mail reported the recently published judgment from Green v Adams (Rev 1) [2017] EWFC 24 (03 May 2017) with reasonable accuracy (though no link to the judgment):




A published judgment from the Court of Appeal decision in Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children v Gard is anticipated. In the meantime our post from the original decision is updated here in light of initial reports of the outcome. Further update to follow:


(R OTA EL) v Essex [2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin) – Decision to place a child with prospective adopters is unlawful because unfair. We explain the Administrative Court’s decision to quash a decision to place a child under a placement order because of procedural unfairness here:




Judith Townend examines MOJ statistics on privacy injunctions and explains the Transparency Projects response to the Queen’s Bench ‘Media List’ consultation:


We explained the 17th View from the President’s Chambers on Divorce and money – where are we and where are we going?: Separating the divorce from the money bit (an explanation for normal non-law-geek people):


The key manifesto pledges affecting family law in one easy access place here: Party Manifestos – Family Law:


And the manifesto pledges on press regulation / Leveson implementation in one place via the Inforrm media round-up:


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