Re H (Freeing Orders: Publicity): CA 2005

Wall LJ said: ‘Cases involving children are currently heard in private in order to protect the anonymity of the children concerned. However, the exclusion of the public from family courts, and the lack of knowledge about what happens in them, easily lead to the accusation of ‘secret justice’
What is manifestly unacceptable is the unauthorised and selective leakage of one party’s case or selective, inaccurate and tendentious reporting in breach of the rules relating to the confidentiality of the proceedings. This, in my experience, invariably leads to unbalanced misreporting of the difficult and sensitive issues with which the courts have to grapple. In my judgment, therefore, the best way to tackle that problem is by greater openness in the decision-making process.’ and
‘In my judgment, this case provides a strong argument for those who, like myself, take the view that the judgments of circuit and Family Division judges hearing care and adoption proceedings should, as a matter of routine, be given in an anonymised form and in open court.’


Wall LJ


[2006] 1 FLR 815, [2005] EWCA Civ 1325


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedNorfolk 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 . .
CitedWebster (the Parents) v Norfolk County Council and others CA 11-Feb-2009
Four brothers and sisters had been adopted after the parents had been found to have abused them. The parents now had expert evidence that the injuries may have been the result of scurvy, and sought leave to appeal.
Held: Leave was refused. . .
CitedDoncaster 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 . .
CitedH 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The court had previously published and then withdrawn its judgment after third parties had been able to identify those involved by pulling together media and internet reports with the judgment.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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Media

Updated: 10 May 2022; Ref: scu.245945