Financial remedy judgments—to anonymise or not to anonymise?

Financial remedy judgments—to anonymise or not to anonymise?

Family analysis: The decision in X v X concerned the issue of anonymisation of a financial remedy judgment in divorce proceedings which had been widely reported in the press. John Stables, barrister at 5RB, considers the implications of this judgment.

Original news

X v X [2016] EWHC 3512 (Fam)

What issues did this case raise?

Essentially only those issues that are well rehearsed in the field of court reporting of financial remedy proceedings, ie the arguments for and against anonymity.

The husband wished for an anonymised judgment; the wife was neutral about anonymity. The husband’s and children’s rights under Article 8 ECHR needed to be balanced against the Article 10 rights of the media and the public. The task before the court was therefore one of carrying out the well-known analysis set out in Re S (a child) (identification: restriction on publication) [2004] UKHL 47, [2004] 4 All ER 683 mindful of the facts of the case and the ‘particular weight’ given to the Article 8 interests of minors.

What are the practical implications of this case?

So far as there is a practical implication to draw from the case it does not concern the law at issue.

In my view the practical implication of the case is the potential importance of media behaviour in the evidential background to these sorts of decisions. And more specifically, the importance of such behaviour in ancillary relief proceedings—in which the interests of children will so often figure, directly and indirectly—where there has been previous reporting.

In reaching his view ‘that the balance comes down firmly in favour of the present a

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