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11 JAN 2019

Case review: Re A and B (children)

Case review: Re A and B (children)

The balance came down clearly and decisively against granting the applicant journalist permission to publish information about care proceedings brought by the respondent local authority in relation to two children.

The Family Division also held that an injunction sought by the local authority preventing the journalist publishing or broadcasting any details of the children or the proceedings was not necessary to prevent what s 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 prohibited.

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Background

The respondent local authority brought care proceedings in relation to two children. The applicant journalist (SG) applied for permission to report the proceedings. However, his application was refused and he was ordered to return to the authority all court documents and any copies of those documents which he retained. The order further informed him that he should remove from the internet within 24 hours, a particular article he had written referred to in the order. SG did not comply with the order and, in fact, put up more material about the case on the internet.

In response, the local authority sought an injunction that, among other things, prohibited further publication by SG of details relating to the proceedings and the removal of the information on the internet. The judge gave effect to the local authority's application.

SG then applied for various orders, including that permitting publication of a series of articles about the child protection care proceedings process. The authority cross-applied for an injunction to prevent SG from publishing or broadcasting any details of the children or the proceedings to last until the children's respective 18th birthdays.

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