In Re R (Minor) (Court of Appeal: Order Against Identification): CA 1 Dec 1998

The applicant sought to set aside the standard form of order incorporated into the dismissal on 17th November 1997 of his appeal against the making of a section 91(14) order, preventing the identification of a child involved.
Held: It is now the rule that a child involved in proceedings in the Court of Appeal must not be named, and an order to that effect is implied whether or not stated. Any party wishing to name a child may still apply to the court to be allowed to do so. The court explained the advantages of anonymity: ‘A general direction . . exists because it is appreciated that in the court below the hearing is in chambers (in normal circumstances the public will have no access to those proceedings unless they make special arrangements to hear them; in children proceedings the public do not normally have access; the matter is subject to rule 4.16(7) of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991), while in this court the proceedings are in public. It is considered highly desirable that appellate proceedings wherever possible should be in open court, and the judgment which is given should be available to the public and the profession through the normal court reporting procedures. In the great majority of cases, this could have adverse consequences so far as children are concerned. In a case where a child’s parents are in dispute as to how the child should be brought up or cared for, to identify the child might subject that child to stress and anxiety. It is important that the child, who cannot be said to be other than entirely innocent, should not be damaged by the fact that his or her parents are not in a position to agree amicably as to the future care for that child, or because there are some other disputes as to the child’s upbringing. It is therefore accepted by this court that in general the identity of the child should be protected. That is why the order was made in this case.’


Lord Woolf MR, Butler-Sloss and Evans LJJ


Times 09-Dec-1998, [1999] 2 FLR 145


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedPelling v Bruce-Williams, Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening CA 5-Jul-2004
The applicant sought an order that his application for a joint residence order should be held in public.
Held: Though there was some attractiveness in the applicant’s arguments, the issue had been fully canvassed by the ECHR. The time had come . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.82141