London Borough of Hillingdon v Neary

Judge: Peter Jackson J.

Citation: [2011] EWHC 413

Summary: This case concerned an application by journalists from a range of organisations to report details of the case of Steven Neary, a young autistic and learning disabled man who had been prevented from living with his father in circumstances which the Official Solicitor and his father contended were unlawful.

It will be evident from this summary that the journalists’ application was successful, and that reporting restrictions were lifted. The judge repeated the established principles governing such applications and found that since there was no concrete evidence that Steven Neary would be damaged by being identified, his details had already been published in a number of places including Private Eye and online, and there was a genuine public interest in the work of the Court of Protection not being kept secret, it was appropriate to allow the names of the parties to be published at the outset of the proceedings.

Comment: This case provides a useful illustration of the principles concerning publication of the identities of protected parties in the Court of Protection. It will be interesting to see whether some of the judge’s assumptions are borne out, for example that journalists will not behave irresponsibly towards Steven Neary, and that there would most likely be a positive reaction to his situation rather than a hostile one.

CategoryMedia - Anonymity, Media - Court reporting, Media - Private hearings Date


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