Family analysis: Following a judge’s decision in 2002 that a girl who was then two years old should live with her father and that the mother should not have direct access, the Family Division in Re G (A Child)  EWHC 1301 (Fam),  All ER (D) 148 (May) refused a recent application by the girl’s older half-brother for access to all the files in the 2002 proceedings, and also refused the mother’s application for the removal of the undertaking she had given the judge not to communicate with the media. Adam Wolanski, barrister, of 5RB, examines the issues.
What are the practical implications of the judgment?
The case was unusual. It concerned two applications in relation to the 2002 private law proceedings –
one brought by the half-brother to obtain documents from the court file so he could learn the truth about his past and about his parents, and the other by the mother so she could disclose information about the case to the world at large and campaign publicly to establish her innocence of the findings made by the judge.
In the present judgment Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, explained the legal principles applicable where persons wished to obtain information from the court about cases concerning their family history.