Image: Cordell and Cordell, (CC BY 2.0)

District Judge Hilary Bradley recently ruled that parties to a particular divorce and the intriguing financial details of that case are to remain secret in order to avoid embarrassment and worse for one of the parties and wider family members. In doing so she rejected journalists’ claims that restrictions like it represent an affront to “open justice”, the common law principle that proceedings (including the content of court files) ought to be open to the public. The judge had previously rejected the husband’s application to have reporters excluded entirely from the courtroom, but ruled in favour of respect for private and family life by imposing reporting restrictions. In this case the judge decided that the news media were interested in publishing details relating to individuals who were not involved in the immediate proceedings, save as to where the confidential information regarding them had been revealed owing to the compulsory detailed disclosure of assets required by ancillary relief proceedings. The father of the husband said publication risked causing him embarrassment, damage to his career and even threatened his life. The judge accepted that there is a balance between freedom of expression and the right to respect for family life, on this occasion ruling in favour of maintaining privacy. The facts of this case are unusual, divorce and related proceedings are generally conducted in the absence of scrutiny by the media. Griffin Law is a dispute resolution firm comprising innovative, proactive, tenacious and commercially-minded lawyers. We pride ourselves on our close client relationships, which are uniquely enhanced by our transparent fee guarantee and a commitment to share the risks of litigation.  If you have any specific questions regarding a dispute, please email or call 01732 52 59 23.


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