(Court of Appeal; Sir Mark Potter P, Arden and Wall LJJ; 27 June 2006)
Section 97(2) of the Children Act 1989, which prohibited publication of any material 'intended or likely to identify ... any child as being involved in any proceedings', related to current proceedings, and the prohibition ended once the proceedings were concluded. The provisions of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 which were apt to prevent publication or reporting of the substance of or issues in proceedings involving minors were not thereby diluted. Nor were parents free to draw their children into an ongoing public debate. The court retained its welfare jurisdiction, enabling intervention where a child's welfare was put at risk by inappropriate parental identification for publicity purposes. The court was obliged, in the face of a challenge, to conduct a balancing exercise between competing human rights under Art 8 and Art 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950. It would be appropriate for every tribunal, when making a final order, to consider whether there was an outstanding welfare issue which needed to be addressed by a continuing order for anonymity.