We are really pleased to welcome two new members to the Transparency Project project group : journalist Louise Tickle and researcher Judith Townend. We think that their involvement will help broaden out our range of expertise and perspectives, to include those working both inside and outside the family justice system.

You can read more about Louise and Judith below.

Louise Tickle

Louise Tickle is a freelance journalist who specialises in education and social affairs. She contributes to a range of national publications including the Guardian, Observer, Times, Sunday Times and Newsweek magazine, and has written extensively about adoption, fostering, care leavers and care proceedings over the past decade.

Louise started out as a press officer for charities – the RSPB, CSV and Comic Relief, as well as a stint at Divine Chocolate, when the cupboard was never bare and her popularity increased tremendously – but temperamentally it was the wrong way round. After retraining as a journalist at City University, she worked for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in post-conflict Kosovo as a media adviser to local journalists attempting to report that nation’s first elections independently of state control. She remains unsure quite how necessary, or useful, that was.

On her return to the UK Louise immediately went freelance. She relishes the independence this gives her pursue her interests within the world of social affairs and education; her proudest journalistic moments are always when she’s managed to persuade an editor to allow her explore issues that are difficult and not immediately ‘obvious’ as stories.

Louise was the 2015 and 2013 winner of the CIPR Education Journalism Award for outstanding schools journalism, and the 2014 winner for outstanding national education journalism. She has twice won the Rosemary Goodchild award for sexual health reporting, run by Brook and the Family Planning Association, once for a piece looking at how carefully – or otherwise – the sexual health of looked after children was considered as they grew up in care. She was longlisted for the 2015 Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils for a series of articles looking at the impact of domestic abuse, particularly on children, and for the 2015 Mind Media Awards for her reporting on the widespread failure to provide specialist therapeutic treatment to mothers who have multiple babies removed by the state. She tweets at @louisetickle.

Judith Townend


Judith is a researcher based at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, and director of the Information Law & Policy Centre, with a particular interest in public & journalistic access to information, and specifically, access to courts & judicial data.

Her research covers a range of legal and social topics connected by a common theme of public access to information: the policy and law that governs and facilitates access; the role of organisations and individuals; and the implications for democracy and civic participation in society.

She is also very keen to find ways to open up academic research and legal information through digital platforms and open access platforms. She has contributed to a range of specialist media publications and originally worked in journalism before pursuing academic research.

She tweets as @jtownend.