Judge: Munby LJ
Citation:  EWHC 3017 (Fam)
Summary: In this case Munby LJ set out guidance in relation to the publication of judgments in cases heard under the inherent jurisdiction in the Family Division of the High Court concerning incapacitated adults. The position is as follows:
1. In the absence of any relevant statutory restriction, it is not a contempt of court to publish or report a judgment (whether in whole or in part) merely because it was given or handed down in private (in chambers) and not in open court.
2. In cases involving incapacitated adults under the inherent jurisdiction, no such rubric is required as there is no relevant statutory restriction preventing publication.
The judge explained that where a judgment is handed down with the familiar rubric attached any breach of those conditions will be a contempt of court. However, the rubric is only required where a statutory restriction exists which would make reporting the judgment a contempt of court, and the judge is effectively giving a conditional permission for that statutory restriction to be lifted.
Comment: This decision usefully clarifies the position on reporting of inherent jurisdiction cases, and makes clear that if any party wishes a judgment in such proceedings to be anonymised or to prevent it from being reported, the onus is on that party to apply to the court for an order. In Court of Protection proceedings, the position is of course covered by the COP Rules and the caselaw dealing with the balance between Article 8 and Article 10 rights in such cases.