Transparency Project in the media

Things we've written, been quoted or referenced in, or have influenced

The Transparency Project and its project group members are sometimes featured or mentioned in the media or legal publications. We’ve collected some examples here. The views expressed by individual project members in their capacity as individuals are not necessarily those of The Transparency Project.

Mainstream media, events & industry press

In January 2019 Lucy Reed was interviewed by Michael Rosen on BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth, about legal language.  

Chair, Lucy Reed took part in the 12th Annual Family Justice Council Debate, 3 December 2018 on the topic of covert recording. Podcast and transcript here.

Chair, Lucy Reed appeared on BBC tv offering an explanation of the law in connection with news stories about Sammy Woodhouse.

Judith Townend’s blog post Where did all the privacy injunctions go? A response to the Queen’s Bench ‘Media List’ consultation, which appeared on our blog and on INFORRM was picked up by the Press Association Media Lawyer service (subscription required), June 2017.

Lucy Reed was interviewed on Radio 4 Today about a research evaluation into the impact of the 2014 “transparency” guidance, 24 March 2017. Iplayer clip.

Cardiff University report of research into the impact of the 2014 “transparency” guidance refers to The Transparency Project, March 2017 (and authored by various members of The Transparency Project – Dr Doughty, Paul Magrath, Alice Twaite).

The Transparency Project were praised by Lord Justice McFarlane in the course of The Inaugural Bridget Lindley Annual Memorial Lecture: Holding the Risk – the Balance between Child Protect,ion and the Right to Family Life, March 2017.

Media and public to get “viewing terminals” for live-streamed Court proceedings – Judith Townend, on Inforrm blog March 2017 (also at Justice Gap here)

Social workers criticised and named by judge cleared of wrongdoing by HCPC, Community Care, Feb 2017 (referencing our open letters to the PSA and HCPC)

Divorced men doomed to life as a cash machine, The Times, Feb 2017 (quotes The Transparency Project)

Social worker assessments ‘marginalised’ in court, council says, Community Care, Feb 2017 (quotes Sarah Phillimore)

‘Helen Archer’ law must not forget alleged abusers  – Barrister condemns routine use of terminology that fails to acknowledge presumption of innocence, Solicitors Journal, Feb 2017 (quotes Lucy Reed)

Justice must be seen to be done. But what does that mean?, Judith Townend, Issue 2, Proof Magazine, The Justice Gap, Feb 2017

But what does open justice actually mean?, Judith Townend on Inforrm blog, 19 Jan 2017

Secrecy and lack of legal aid empowered my abusive partner, article quoting Lucy Reed in iNews, 13 Jan 2017

In our discussion of domestic violence cases, we have forgotten the other kind of victim, Lucy Reed in iNews, 11 Jan 2017

Online justice: why courts should explore emerging digital possibilities, Louise Tickle (quoting Judith Townend), the Guardian, 16 Jan 2017

How can it be right to have targets for breaking up families?, Louise Tickle, The Guardian, Dec 16 (based on our Adoption Targets work)

“Opening up the courts: the Court of Protection transparency pilot”, Julie Doughty and Paul Magrath, Communications Law (Bloomsbury Professional) Vol 21, No 2, (2016),

My child was nearly adopted – here’s why adoption targets are wrong – A mother who went through care proceedings reacts to findings about adoption targets in local authorities, Community Care, Nov 2016 (following on from our Adoption Targets work)

Councils setting numerical targets for adoption – Transparency Project findings are thought to be the first time councils have acknowledged using numerical adoption targets since national benchmarks were scrapped in 2008, Community Care, Nov 2016

Access to information should not be an after-thought in plans for ‘transforming our justice system’, Judith Townend on Inforrm blog, Nov 2016

Family Keystone, Lucy Reed, Counsel Magazine, August 2016

Why are we still waiting for transparency in the family courts?, Lucy Reed, Guardian Online, 21 June 2016

The World Tonight (segment concerning the conviction of Ben Butler following death of Ellie Butler), Lucy Reed, BBC Radio 4, 22 June 2016

‘I saw his fluffy little head going out the door’: one woman’s fight to keep her baby, Louise Tickle, Guardian, 20 February 2016

Splitting the Assets, BBC Radio 4, February 2016.

BASW: Social workers should allow parents to record conversations, British Association of Social Workers website, 17 December 2015

Family court transparency charity publishes guidance on parents recording meetings with social workers, Family Law Week, 17 December 2015

Parents who record child protection meetings: what social workers need to know, Community Care, 17 December 2015

Should parents be allowed to record child protection meetings?, Community Care, 10 December 2015

Sarah Phillimore / Louise Tickle : Why it’s easy to fall foul of our muddled child protection laws, The Guardian, 10 November 2015

Louise Tickle / Lucy Reed : ‘I have panic attacks when I see my ex’: fighting for custody after legal aid cuts, The Guardian, 7 November 2015

Lucy Reed : Why can’t we be clear about transparency in the Family Courts?, New Statesman, 17 September 2015

Lucy Reed : In child protection cases, healthy scepticism too often turns to dangerous distrust, New Statesman, 14 August 2015

Lucy Reed appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on 16 June 2015 in her capacity as Chair of The Transparency Project. She talked about how the family court deals with disputes about children in the wake of the “Missing Mum” case.

Legal publications

Our three trustees have co-authored a book on Transparency.




Transparency in the Family Courts: Publicity and Privacy in Practice, Doughty, Reed and Magrath (Bloomsbury, April 2018).


Thanks to the ground-breaking and inspired work of The Transparency Project, and now this book, transparency is to be seen as a much more subtle, sophisticated and flexible concept.

(Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, Foreword to the book)

Please quote discount code BPTFC15 for a 15% discount.

Lucy Reed discusses transparency with Paul Magrath on youtube video here.


Family Law (Jordans)

The President’s guidance on anonymisation in published judgments, Annie Bertram, February 2019, [2019] Fam Law 203.

I call humbug, Louise Tickle, February 2019, [2019] Fam Law 122.

Allegations of domestic abuse : Are family courts working for children and families?, Lucy Reed, January 2019, [2019] Fam Law 75.

Child Protection Conference, TP Team, December 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1590.

‘Sensationalist’ ‘provocative’ and ‘unhelpful’ – why I was prepared to say in a national newspaper that our state kidnaps children, Louise Tickle, November 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1375

Access to family court hearings : the legal bloggers pilot, Julie Doughty, November 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1465.

Sir James Munby sums up his views on transparency, Lucy Reed, October 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1342.

Expert Evidence in family proceedings – a new Transparency Project Guidance Note, Sarah Phillimore, September 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1226.

When a journalist comes to court – lower those hackles, Louise Tickle, August 2018, [2018] Fam Law 957.

Correcting Inaccuracy by the mainstream media in the reporting of family cases, Lucy Reed, August 2018, [2018] Fam Law 1062.

Reporting Restrictions and Accountability in Family Proceedings, Lucy Reed, July 2018, [2018] Fam Law 917.

Press Reporting of Family Courts, Julie Doughty, June 2018, [2018] Fam Law 750.

Transparency – not just opening doors, but inviting people in, Sarah Phillimore, May 2018, [2018] Fam Law 605.

Why words matter – the debate about ‘disclosure’, Lucy Reed, April 2018, [2018] Fam Law 464.

Quintessentially Transparent?, Lucy Reed, March 2018, [2018] Fam Law 333.

Privacy versus Accountability in the Family Courts, Lucy Reed, February 2018, [2018] Fam Law 222.

Crisis in care – crisis in confidence?, Lucy Reed, January 2018, [2018] Fam Law 85.

How Are Children’s Voices Heard in the Family Justice System?, Sarah Phillimore, December 2017, [2017] Fam Law 1396.

Transparency Project News: Legal bloggers – a level playing field? Lucy Reed, November 2017 [2017] Fam Law 1267. 

The role of transparency in rebuilding public trust and confidence, Lucy Reed, September 2017, [2017] Fam Law 1048.

Reporting Watch Update, Lucy Reed, August 2017, [2017] Fam Law 908.

Transparency Project News: The President’s Guidance – three years later, Lucy Reed, July 2017, [2017] Fam Law 778.

Transparency Project News: Correction requests and complaints, Lucy Reed, June 2017 at [2017] Fam Law 694.

 Transparency Project News: Reporting family courts, May 2017 [2017] Fam Law 564.

 J Doughty, ‘It went into a bit of an abyss’: Why adopters need a guide to the law, Family Law (vol 47 April 2017 420)

S Phillimore and I Large, ‘The Re W test in action: some concerns raised and some practical considerations’  (March 2017 vol 47 pp 318-322)

J Doughty, New children law in Wales, Family Law (May 2016)

S Phillimore, Section 20 guidance, Family Law 46 (March 2016) 404-405

C Fenton-Glynn, Adoption targets, Family Law 46 (February 2016) 149

S Phillimore, Dealing with adopted chidren: Section 20, Family Law 46 (February 2016) 216-219

E Whewell, Family law session Family Law 46 (February 2016) 233-237

Press Reporting of Care Proceedings, [2016] Fam Law 72, L Tickle & L Reed (relates to Tickle v The Council of the Borough of North Tyneside [2015] EWHC 2991 (Fam))

L Reed, Parents recording meetings with social workers, Family Law December [2015] Fam Law 1515.

Vol 45(11)
L Tickle, ‘Sleepless nights reporting the family courts’ 1304-1307

Vol 45(10)
P Magrath and S Phillimore, ‘The transparency paradox: open justice versus closed minds’ 1237-1241
S Phillimore, ‘Collective responsibility’ 1264-1267

Vol 45(9)a
S Phillimore, ‘Is the child protection system fit for purpose?’ 1136-1140

Vol 45(6)
J Doughty, ‘Transparency in the Court of Protection 727-729 

Vol 45(4)
P Magrath, S Phillimore and J Doughty, ‘Transparency: the strange case of the judge with no name’ 422-425

Vol 45(1)
L Reed, ‘The transparency consultation: a bloggers’ response’ 82 – 84

Jordans website

Family court transparency charity publishes guidance on parents recording meetings with social workers, Family Law, 17 December 2015

A Day in the Life of … Lucy Reed, November 2015

S Phillimore, ‘Is the child protection system fit for purpose?’, June 2015 


Family Law Journal (Legalease) 

Alice Twaite, Maintaining privacy – Alice Twaite discusses issues arising from new research on jigsaw identification, and wider concerns as to transparency in children cases, March 2016, Vol 154.

A Twaite, State versus parents – Alice Twaite looks at ‘hidden’ litigants in person and practical safeguards for parents facing removal of a child, Mar 2015, Vol 144.



Articles about the work of The Transparency Project and its Family Court Reporting Watch appeared in the magazines of each of the representative bodies for solicitors, bar and legal executives in Dec 16 / Jan 17. 

Personal blogs and other websites

Several of the members of the project group run their own personal blogs / websites or can be found elsewhere on the internet. Again, the material on these sites do not necessarily reflect the work of The Transparency Project :

Andrew Pack : Suesspicious Minds

Lucy Reed : Pink Tape

Paul Magrath : ICLR Blog

Louise Tickle : Guardian

Julie Doughty : Children’s social care law in Wales