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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> G (a child)  EWCA Civ 1055 (28 July 2003)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 1055
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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM MANCHESTER COUNTY COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE IAIN HAMILTON)
Strand, London WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE THORPE
LORD JUSTICE RIX
| G (Child)
KATHRYN M KOROL (instructed by Messrs Green & Co of Manchester M3 2WJ) appeared for the Guardian Ad Litem.
HEATHER HOBSON (instructed by Messrs Glaisyers of Manchester M13 0SH) appeared for the mother.
HEATHER MACGREGOR (instructed by CAFCASS Legal) appeared as advocate to the court.
Hearing date: Tuesday 1 July 2003
Crown Copyright ©
"The father is prohibited from disclosing in any manner any papers or documents filed in these proceedings or their content or any school reports he may obtain to either Dr Richard Gardner or Dr Ludwig Lowenstein or any other expert in parental alienation syndrome or any other agency or organisation such as Families Need Fathers without the specific permission of the court."
"12. Publication of information relating to proceedings in private
(1) The publication of information relating to proceedings before any court sitting in private shall not of itself be contempt of court except in the following cases, that is to say –
(a) where the proceedings –
(ii) are brought under the Children Act 1989"
"97. Privacy for children involved in certain proceedings
(2) No person shall publish any material which is intended, or likely, to identify –
(a) any child as being involved in any proceedings before [the High Court, a county court or] a magistrates court in which any power under this Act may be exercised by the court with respect to that or any other child; or
(b) an address or school as being that of a child involved in any such proceedings.
(3) In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he did no know, and had no reason to suspect, that the published material was intended, or likely, to identify the child.
(4) The court or the [Lord Chancellor] may, if satisfied that the welfare of the child requires it, by order dispense with the requirements of subsection (2) to such extent as may be specified in the order.
(5) For the purposes of this section –
'publish' includes –
[(a) include in a programme service (within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990;] or
(b) cause to be published; and
'material' includes any picture or representation.
(6) Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard scale."
"4.23 Confidentiality of documents
(1) Notwithstanding any rule of court to the contrary, no document, other than a record of an order, held by the court and relating to proceedings to which this Part applies shall be disclosed, other than to –
(a) a party,
(b) the legal representative of a party,
(c) the guardian ad litem,
(d) the Legal Aid Board, or
(e) a welfare officer,
without leave of the judge or district judge."
"Unless it is clear from the statutory context that some other interpretation is intended, it is submitted that the wide interpretation of the common law, and particularly the law of defamation, would be the natural one to adopt. That is to say, the 'publication' contemplated by section 12(1) would not be confined to information communicated through the media. Thus, private communications to individuals may very well constitute contempt unless permission has previously been obtained from the court itself."
That seems to me to be the sensible construction and I would adopt it.
i) The orders made within these proceedings.
ii) The nature of any proposed application to the court.
iii) The issue or issues to be determined by the court.
iv) The position of the other parties and the experts, including CAFCASS.
"Again, I have to say, having read many of the communications in question, a great deal of very helpful advice and sound wisdom was provided to the father as a result of his communications in that discussion."
Again I pose the question does the litigant in person have to seek the permission of a judge or a district judge before taking his case to Families Need Fathers?