• 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

MEDIA (MIS)REPORTS OF FAMILY COURT CASES

The Sun (followed by the Mail) – In Celebrities are given a smidgen of privacy at a difficult time in their lives shocker, we unpicked the Sun’s claims of Jamie and Louise Redknapp’s divorce papers to be kept secret as a judge blocks the release of documents’ and the Mail’s follow up report. See also some twitter responses below:

“Divorce Day”? Don’t believe the hype…– A guest post from Jo Edwards on the media myth of “Divorce Day” and the response of the legal sector:

The Times and the Mirror – Reported the Court of Appeal decision in CN & Anor v Poole Borough in the context of a negligence claim. Blog to follow on this easily misunderstood area of law. In the meantime see commentary at 1 Chancery Lane Chambers. The Times and Mirror reports are here: Abuse victims told they can’t sue councils and Fury as judges deny thousands of child abuse victims compensation:

The Telegraph -Twitter responded to Stamp duty rules ‘penalising those who divorce amicably’, in the Telegraph Money section:

BBC News  Reported the launch of an Inquiry in response to issues raised by ITV’s Exposure Who Cares? Children’s Homes Undercover, whilst seemingly misunderstanding those issues:

Linkless

The Daily Mail – Reported Russell J’s decision in F v H & Anor with limited explanation and no link to the published judgment with the full ‘story’. Woman who falsely accused ex of sex abuse barred from seeing daughter was the MailOnline twitter headline.

Russell J said this: This is an unusually fraught and difficult case with a distressing and unhappy history. It is necessary to set that history out in some detail so that the both the order of the court and this appeal can be seen in context. 

We posted a comment on the article guiding readers to the judgment which the MailOnline didn’t moderate through to publication.

See also this twitter thread, on the wider issue of mainstream media failures to link to primary sources they report on, across many contexts, including family court published judgments:

Linker of the Week(s)

The Guardian – Linking readers transparently to the source of their report, England’s councils may be doing well or terribly, we don’t know, which was the report of the Communities and Local Government Commons Select Committee, Effectiveness of local authority overview and scrutiny committees:

Transparency Positives

BuzzFeed News: Researched numbers and impact of self represented litigants in family law cases according to magistrates hearing family cases. See Emily Dugan’s report, Magistrates Say Children Suffer In Family Court Hearings When Their Parents Have No Lawyers:

BBC Radio 4: How to Make Sure Your Last Wishes are Respected – Jenny Kitzinger raised awareness of the importance of Advance Decisions and how to do it, in the Eddie Mair interview. Still available as a podcast on BBC Iplayer. Practical help including forms can be found at through the @GoodDeath (Compassion In Dying website) here:

If I could talk to me – A powerful, accessible, animated film on how it feels to be a young pregnant mother in care at risk of losing a baby, and the importance of advocacy. Made by Just for Kids Law,  based on the experiences of 2 young people in care. See also this Guardian review by Louise Tickle (also of the Transparency Project):

NEWLY PUBLISHED CASES FOR EXPLANATION OR COMMENT

M (Children), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 2164 (20 December 2017) – We linked the published judgment from this challenging Court of Appeal decision to the Guardian report (one of few mainstream news reports of it). Blog to follow:

The open justice principle: a child’s crimes and a parent’s misdemeanour – David Burrows questioned the consistency of ‘open justice’ decision making across legal jurisdictions, with reference to some recent case law here:

Privacy and the Princess — Polly Morgan explained the decision to grant a reporting restriction order in HRS Louis Xavier v HRH Tessy Princess… [2017] EWHC 3095 (Fam) (05 December 2017) in this blog:

IN OTHER TRANSPARENCY NEWS

A fork in the road: Cafcass and their pathways – A short blog discussing the pathways and proper role of Cafcass, ahead of the next Transparency column in Family Law:

New Lord Chief Justice wants to improve public understanding of how judges work – Paul Magrath reported the Lord Chief Justice’s first annual press conference here:

Making our regular transparency columns at Family Law more accessible  – Family Law Journal publishes a regular blog series by The Transparency Project. The posts are later reproduced on our website with kind permission. We’ve put them in one place on our website here if you missed them in Family Law which is subscription only:

A Legal Guide for Adopters – This new guide by Sarah Coldrick, AFA Cymru and Julie Doughty of Cardiff University (also Transparency Project) is useful, not least because it includes Welsh law and procedure, which is increasingly divergent from the English version. More information is here.

Care Numbers Crisis – The deadline for submissions to the initial stages of the review that Family Rights Group are facilitating, on behalf of the sector, is 15th January 2018:

The role of the social worker in adoption, ethics and human rights enquiry A reminder that the research findings are to be launched at an event including a panel debate on Thursday 18th January 2018. Booking is essential:

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