Privacy V Public Interest in Children's Disputes

Posted on 15 June 2015 by Miles Geffin. Source: Business Shapers

There has long been a debate concerning the tension between the public interest in understanding how the family courts reach their decisions and the privacy of the families who appear in those courts.

The public interest has prevailed and the press have been able to widely report on high and low profile family disputes.

What is often missed in the debate about transparency, but which our judges have always been acutely aware of, is that the vast majority of the work of the family court is concerned with the protection of vulnerable children.

Two recent cases demonstrate the opposing approaches that can be taken by the court to press reporting restrictions, both of which were intended to, and fortunately succeeded in, promoting the welfare of the children in question.

The fact that the press were completely unrestricted in their reporting of the recent case involving Rebecca Minnock and her three year-old Ethan was highly unusual.  Normally in cases involving child welfare issues, reporting restrictions are imposed which prevent the publication of the names of parents and children involved.

Read the full article on Business Shapers.