HMCTS response to letter on open justice in the COVID-19 emergency – Judith Townend

1 07 2020

The chief executive of HMCTS, Susan Acland-Hood, has responded to an open letter from NGOs and academics raising concerns about the provision of open justice measures during the COVID-19 emergency period. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: PA Media Group v LB of Haringey, Journalists persuade Judge to change his mind and name criticised local authority – Lucy Reed

21 05 2020

We wrote about this case last week.  We said “watch this space” Now, we bring you part two… The judge has changed his mind after the intervention of two journalists : the Transparency Project’s Louise Tickle and Press Association journalist Brian Farmer. Read the rest of this entry »





Family Courts: Local Authorities in care proceedings, To name or not to name – that is the question

15 05 2020

The Transparency Project noticed two cases in which judgments were published on 11 May 2020 the very day that the President’s Transparency Review call for evidence closed – each deals with the question of whether a local authority who had brought care proceedings should be named, and each considers the 2018 guidance on anonymisation (which is one of the subjects of the President’s Transparency Review). Read the rest of this entry »





Publication and correction of judgments: official and unofficial sources – Paul Magrath

7 05 2020

Who is responsible for publishing the official approved version of judgments of the courts? Where should we look to find the latest, in some cases corrected, version of a court judgment? These are not new questions, but the sudden swerve to virtual justice has thrown them into new focus. Read the rest of this entry »





Case Law: Orphans from Syria, Reporting Restriction Orders and Children – FC ReportingWatch

3 12 2019

Mr Justice Keehan last week published an extraordinary judgment of a mere 17 staccato paragraphs. It is called Re Orphans From Syria [2019] EWHC 3202 (Fam). It begins : Read the rest of this entry »





Reporting the Family Courts: the President’s New Clothes – FC Reporting Watch

24 11 2019

This week has seen reports in the legal press of a speech in which the President of the Family Division,  Sir Andrew McFarlane, set out an idea for a research project about news reports containing accounts of how family courts have handled domestic abuse claims. See for example : Press attacks on family courts should be assessed – McFarlane by Monidipa Fouzder in The Gazette. Here we ask : But could it work? Read the rest of this entry »





Transparency Project: Off to IPSO we go … (hey ho)

15 10 2019

On 27 August the Express published an article under their ‘crusade’ to ‘End this injustice’ (in family courts). We were concerned that it contained serious inaccuracies and was misleading. We wrote about that in a post on 30 August : The Danger of Crusades. On 1 September we also lodged a complaint with The Express about those inaccuracies, referencing Clause 1 IPSO Editors’ Code. Read the rest of this entry »





BAILII and the re-use of judgments as public legal information – Paul Magrath

4 10 2019

For all practical purposes, the free legal database run by the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) is an official source of judgments from senior courts that any member of the public or any journalist can use. Read the rest of this entry »





Journalism: The danger of crusades – FC Reporting Watch

5 09 2019

In the last few months, the Daily Express has been running a ‘Crusade’ (their label) with the banner ‘End This Injustice’. Under this banner they have published a number of accounts from mothers who tell of abuse at the hands of the fathers of their children, and a failure by the Family Court to protect them. Read the rest of this entry »





Reporting Family Courts: An example of why headlines matter – Lucy Reed

20 08 2019

We have seen a number of reports dealing with the sad story of a young father called Christopher Brown who took his own life by hanging. The reports follow a Coroner’s Inquest into the death and most have similar copy which suggest they are based upon a single syndicated news report. Read the rest of this entry »