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 for the court to consider in each case whether a proper balance of competing rights requires the anonymisation of any report of the proceedings and judgment but only following a hearing which was conducted in public and therefore open to all who cared to attend. Otherwise the application failed.
Lord Justice Sedley Lord Justice Thorpe Lady Justice Arden
(2004) 2 FLR 823,  EWCA Civ 845,  3 All ER 875
Family Proceedings Rules 1991 4.16, Children Act 1989 97(2)
England and Wales
Cited – P-B (a Minor) (child cases: hearings in open court) CA 20-Jun-1996
The applicant sought to have his application for a residence order heard in open court: ‘Article 6 (1) provides for the public hearing and the public pronouncement of judgment of cases, but with the proviso of exclusion of the press and the public . .
Cited – B v The United Kingdom; P v The United Kingdom ECHR 24-Apr-2001
The procedures in English law which provided for privacy for proceedings involving children did not in general infringe the human right to family life, nor the right to a public hearing. Where relatives more distant than immediate parties were . .
Cited – Scott v Scott HL 5-May-1913
Presumption in Favour of Open Proceedings
There had been an unauthorised dissemination by the petitioner to third parties of the official shorthand writer’s notes of a nullity suit which had been heard in camera. An application was made for a committal for contempt.
Held: The House . .
Appeal from – P v BW (Children Cases: Hearings in Public) FD 2003
The applicant sought a joint residence order, and for a declaration that the rules preventing such hearings being in public breached the requirement for a public hearing.
Held: Both FPR 1991 rule 4.16(7) and section 97 are compatible with the . .
Cited – Allan v Clibbery (1) CA 30-Jan-2002
Save in cases involving children and ancillary and other situations requiring it, cases in the family division were not inherently private. The appellant failed to obtain an order that details of an action under the section should not be disclosed . .
Cited – In Re G (Minors) (Celebrities: Publicity) CA 4-Nov-1998
Where extra publicity might attach to proceedings because of the celebrity of the parents, it was wrong to attach extra restrictions on reporting without proper cause. There remains a need to balance the need for the freedom of speech and the . .
Cited – Re A CA 4-Feb-2003
The court considered whether publicity should be allowed in a children’s application: ‘On the one hand, there is the need to protect the welfare of children. This can arise in a variety of ways. Children can be directly affected by the publication . .
Cited – X v Dempster FD 9-Nov-1998
The columnist Nigel Dempster had written that the mother in forthcoming proceedings relating to a child was a bad mother.
Held: The article was a contempt of court. Such an allegation required proof to the criminal standard. At common law the . .
Cited – Kent County Council v The Mother, The Father, B (By Her Children’s Guardian); Re B (A Child) (Disclosure) FD 19-Mar-2004
The council had taken the applicant’s children into care alleging that the mother had harmed them. In the light of the subsequent cases casting doubt on such findings, the mother sought the return of her children. She applied now that the hearings . .
Cited – R (Mrs) v Central Independent Television Plc CA 17-Feb-1994
The court did not have power to stop a TV program identifying a ward of court, but which was not about the care of the ward. The first instance court had granted an injunction in relation to a television programme dealing with the arrest and the . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – Re Z (A Minor) (Freedom of publication) 1996
Cited – Attorney-General v Leveller Magazine Ltd HL 1-Feb-1979
The appellants were magazines and journalists who published, after committal proceedings, the name of a witness, a member of the security services, who had been referred to as Colonel B during the hearing. An order had been made for his name not to . .
Cited – Harb v King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz CA 26-May-2005
The wife sought an order for reasonable maintenance from His Majesty King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz. He replied that he was immune from suit.
Held: The King as king was immune. The judge at first instance had been wrong to give the case fictitious . .
Cited – Clayton v Clayton CA 27-Jun-2006
The family had been through protracted family law proceedings and had been subject to orders restricting identification. The father now wanted to discuss his experiences and to campaign. He could not do so without his child being identified.
Cited – Norfolk County Council v Webster and others FD 1-Nov-2006
The claimants wished to claim that they were victims of a miscarriage of justice in the way the Council had dealt with care proceedings. They sought that the proceedings should be reported without the children being identified.
Held: A judge . .
Cited – Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council v Haigh FD 22-Aug-2011
The Council sought to have certain aspects of a care application put into the public domain which would normally have remained private. Application was also made (by the father and the child) for an order restricting the right of the mother to make . .
Cited – H v A (No2) FD 17-Sep-2015
The court had previously published and then withdrawn its judgment after third parties had been able to identify those involved by pulling together media and internet reports with the judgment.
Held: The judgment case should be published in . .
See Also – Pelling v Bruce-Williams CA 25-Jul-2006
Application to discharge injunction – court considering it spent. . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 13 January 2021; Ref: scu.198576