Judge in custody case involving drug-dealer dad says journalists have right to see skeleton arguments

Journalists should be given copies of written skeleton arguments when hearings are held in open court, a High Court judge has told lawyers.
Mr Justice Holman said written skeleton arguments were produced to save court time and contained information which would otherwise have been aired in public.
Journalists were entitled to copies of skeleton arguments unless they contained "very confidential" material, he said today during an hearing in open court in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
"Skeleton arguments contain information put in writing which would otherwise be developed orally in the presence of the public," Mr Justice Holman said.
"Unless there is material which is very confidential … the press should be entitled to have copies of the skeleton arguments."
He added: "As far as I am concerned (journalists) may be given anything that has been given to me."
Mr Justice Holman was speaking as he dealt with a case involving a dispute between a Moroccan handyman his English ex-partner over the future of their five-year-old son.
The man, who lives in Spain, said the woman had kept the little boy in England in breach of a Spanish court order, and says the youngster, who was born in Spain, should be returned there.
But the mother wants to keep the child in England.
The hearing was held in public but the judge said nothing could be reported which might identify the little boy.
Lawyers told the court that the man lived near Alicante and the woman on the south coast of England.
Mr Justice Holman heard that the man and woman met in Spain about seven years ago and separated about two years later, and that the man had been convicted of drug trafficking before the child's birth and spent about five months in prison.



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