Re Al M (Children): CA 28 Feb 2020

Publication of Children judgment – wide publicity

F brought wardship proceedings in respect of M and F’s two children, seeking their return to Dubai. F was the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. Media companies now sought publication of earlier judgments, and F appealed from an order for their publication. The President of the Family division had earlier found that F had arranged for the abduction of his daughters on earlier occasions, subsequently depriving them of their liberty. He had also continued a campaign of intimidation and humiliation against M even after she came to the UK.
Held: F’s appeal failed: ‘We do not consider that it would be right to impose a blanket prohibition preventing the accredited representatives of the media who attended the hearings before the President from reporting anything which was said or which occurred at the hearing: such an order would render pointless the practice of allowing such representatives to attend. It is therefore inevitable that there has to be some definition of the dividing line between what can and cannot be reported. We do not know whether there was any dispute at the time of the original formulation of paragraph 8 (b) of the President’s order. But it was not the subject of an appeal by any of the other parties, and in particular not by the Guardian, who might have been expected to object if he believed that there was a risk that the restrictions were too loosely expressed. We are not persuaded that they are. The phrase ‘directly related to’ the two judgments clearly means that publication, for example, of things said at the hearings relating to other aspects of the welfare of the children remains prohibited – for example, about their experiences, their health and education, or their views about publication, or the history of contact between them and their father. ‘

Lord Justice Underhill VP CA
[2020] EWCA Civ 283
Administration of Justice Act 1960 12(1), European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
CitedIn re S (a Child) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) HL 28-Oct-2004
Inherent High Court power may restrain Publicity
The claimant child’s mother was to be tried for the murder of his brother by poisoning with salt. It was feared that the publicity which would normally attend a trial, would be damaging to S, and an application was made for reporting restrictions to . .
CitedA Local Authority v W L W T and R; In re W (Children) (Identification: Restrictions on Publication) FD 14-Jul-2005
An application was made by a local authority to restrict publication of the name of a defendant in criminal proceedings in order to protect children in their care. The mother was accused of having assaulted the second respondent by knowingly . .
CitedRe J (A Child) (Reporting Restriction: Internet: Video) FD 5-Sep-2013
‘This case raises important questions about the extent to which the public should be able to read and see what disgruntled parents say when they speak out about what they see as deficiencies in the family justice system, particularly when, as here, . .
CitedZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 1-Feb-2011
The respondent had arrived and claimed asylum. Three claims were rejected, two of which were fraudulent. She had two children by a UK citizen, and if deported the result would be (the father being unsuitable) that the children would have to return . .
CitedPNM v Times Newspapers Ltd and Others CA 1-Aug-2014
The claimant sought a privacy order after being accused of historical serious sexual offences against children.
Held: The judge had properly acted within the range of his discretion, and the appeal was dismissed. The judgment would however . .
CitedHaney and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Secretary of State for Justice SC 10-Dec-2014
The four claimants, each serving indeterminate prison sentences, said that as they approached the times when thy might apply for parol, they had been given insufficient support and training to meet the requirements for release. The courts below had . .
CitedPJS v News Group Newspapers Ltd SC 19-May-2016
The appellants had applied for restrictions on the publication of stories about their extra marital affairs. The Court of Appeal had removed the restrictions on the basis that the story had been widely spread outside the jurisdiction both on the . .
CitedAR, Regina (on The Application of) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Another SC 30-Jul-2018
The appellant had been tried for and acquitted on a criminal charge. He now challenged the disclosure by the respondent of the charge in an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate.
Held: His appeal failed. The critical question was whether the . .
CitedRe W (Children) CA 25-Feb-2016
Appeal against order as to media arrangements for fact finding hearing.
McFarlane LJ said: ‘In the present case, Jackson J used the power available to him to move from the default position so as to allow a controlled degree of publicity. This . .
See AlsoRe Al M (Factfinding) FD 11-Dec-2019
. .
See alsoRE Al M (Assurances and Waiver) FD 17-Jan-2020
. .
Appeal fromRe Al M (Publication) FD 27-Jan-2020
. .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Media, Human Rights

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.648603