The law on press reporting of ancillary relief proceedings is ‘a mess’ according to Mostyn J.

The law on press reporting of ancillary relief proceedings is ‘a mess’ according to Mostyn J.

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in News

Mostyn J has authorised NGN Ltd in Appleton & Gallagher v News Group Newspapers and PA [2015] EWHC 2689 (Fam) to appeal to the Court of Appeal in order to resolve the “unhappy divergence of judicial approach” to privacy and restrictions to reporting in ancillary relief cases and described the law concerning the ability of the press to report such proceedings as ‘a mess’

Mostyn J went on to say that “information compulsorily extracted by one party from the other is subject to an implied undertaking that it will not be used for any purpose other than the proceedings”.  Therefore a party telling the press what the other party had said in the witness box would be considered in contempt of court, as would a third party who published what had been said.

Whilst the introduction of FPR 27.11 allows the admission of the press, it does not allow admission of the public, therefore keeping the proceedings private. Mostyn J stated therefore that “It is inconceivable that Parliament could have intended to destroy the effect of the implied undertaking when it allowed the press to observe these private proceedings as a watchdog”.

To read the rest of the article, please visit the Family Law Week’s website.

To read a summary of the judgement by Gwyn Evans of Tanfield Chambers and the judgement itself, please click visit the Judgements Section on Family Law Week website.

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