Regina v The Evesham Justices ex parte McDonagh: 1988

There had been a proceeding before Magistrates Court for a minor traffic offence. The defendant was a member of Parliament. He sought not to have his address made public. Since his divorce from his wife he had been subjected to harassment. He had obtained a High Court injunction restraining her and she had previously, when she had known where he lived, damaged his motor vehicle and thrown things through the windows. He had moved to avoid that and sought now to keep his address confidential.
Held: The Court has a power to withhold the name and address of a defendant in cases where circumstances justify that:
‘It is not, therefore, right to say that everything which justices receive as evidence has publicly to be revealed. This because the proper administration of justice commands a measure of confidentiality in respect of certain evidence which should not be published.’
and: ‘I am bound to say that I am impressed with the argument that the action taken by the justices in the present case had nothing to do with the administration of justice. It seems to me that the concern shown by the justices for not giving publicity to Mr Hocking’s home address was solely motivated by their sympathy for his well-being if his former wife should learn of his home address and harass him yet again’


Watkins LJ


[1988] QB 553, [1988] 2 WLR 227


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRegina v Legal Aid Board ex parte Kaim Todner (a Firm of Solicitors) CA 10-Jun-1998
Limitation on Making of Anonymity Orders
A firm of solicitors sought an order for anonymity in their proceedings against the LAB, saying that being named would damage their interests irrespective of the outcome.
Held: The legal professions have no special part in the law as a party . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.200456