The International Forum for Responsible Media Blog

Category: Open Justice (Page 1 of 11)

Family Proceedings, Financial Remedy Hearings: The Cost of Transparency – Lucy Reed

The case of Xanthopoulos v Rakshina [2022] EWFC 30 has hit the headlines because of the eye watering legal costs, and the excoriating judicial criticism of the parties for running them up. But Xanthopoulos is not only interesting because of its extraordinary financial extravagance. Below the passages about the millions and millions of pounds of fees and how they should be met, is a long section of the judgment about transparency. It is a bombshell. Continue reading

Anonymisation in civil proceedings – Adham Harker

There has long been a tension between the principles of open justice and the desire of parties litigating sensitive matters to keep their identity, parts of the litigation, or even the fact of the litigation itself, private. The default position for almost all civil litigation is that (i) parties are named in proceedings, (ii) non-parties (i.e. members of the public) can obtain copies of core documents from the court, and (iii) hearings are conducted in ‘open’ court (i.e. the public may observe). Continue reading

Which Judges can relax reporting restrictions? – Lucy Reed

It’s not that often that a journalist or legal blogger attends a family court hearing but, when they do, they will often ask for permission to report what has taken place, anonymously. Because lawyers and judges are often unfamiliar with dealing with this sort of request, there can be confusion about the correct approach, and sometimes even about whether an ‘ordinary’ Family Court judge is allowed to deal with such a request. Continue reading

Case Law: Griffiths v Tickle, Former MP loses appeal against publication of details of his abuse of his wife – Adam Glass

In a case highly dependent on its very unusual facts, the Court of Appeal in Griffiths v Tickle ([2021] EWCA Civ 1882) confirmed (in dismissing an appeal) that a mother and father involved in Children Act 1989 proceedings can be identified.  It agreed that a previous fact-finding judgment[pdf] by Her Honour Judge Williscroft at Derby County Court in November 2020, in relation to allegations of serious sexual abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour, and violence, perpetrated by the husband on his ex-wife over a 10 year period, could be published (with relatively modest redactions relating to family members and the identity of the child). Continue reading

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