View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
October 30, 2019updated 07 Nov 2023 5:44am

Journalists should not face costs to challenge family court reporting restrictions, new guidelines say

By PA Medialawyer and Press Gazette

Journalists challenging reporting restrictions in the family courts should not be faced with costs, unless they behave in a “reprehensible” manner, the court’s president has said.

Sir Andrew McFarlane has issued new guidelines for reporters covering proceedings in the family division of the High Court prompted after freelance journalist Louise Tickle won a landmark appeal case.

Tickle, supported by the BBC, successfully overturned reporting restrictions on a case last October that she described as a “real exemplar” of a local authority using “weak evidence” to put a child into adoptive care.

The new guidelines, published yesterday, aim to provide a step-by-step guide for reporters seeking to challenge family court reporting restrictions.

Said Sir Andrew: “In seeking to vary/lift reporting restrictions, the standard approach as to costs in children cases will apply and a reporter, media organisation or their lawyers should not be at risk of a costs order unless he or she has engaged in reprehensible behaviour or has taken an unreasonable stance.”

He said no formal applications to vary reporting restrictions need to be made either by reporters in court, who can make oral representations, or following the case where a challenge can be made by an email to the parties and the court clerk.

In his guidance he says courts must assist reporters wishing to attend a hearing, or to make representations and where representations are to be made adjournments should take place to allow for a conversation about the order and the variations sought, as well as reminding courts that contact details and copies of court orders should be provided when necessary.

Content from our partners
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it

Read the guidelines in full.

Topics in this article :

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network