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30 MAR 2007

Miscarriages of Justice, Privacy and Article 8 - Part 2

David Ryden, Local Authority Solicitor. In the first part of this article, published in March [2007] Fam Law, the author considered recent high profile cases involving infant deaths and the impact of the case of R v Cannings [2004] EWCA Crim 1, [2004] 1 All ER 725 both in the media and the courts. The recent case of Re Webster; Norfolk County Council v Webster and Others (Nos 1 and 2) [2006] EWHC 2733 (Fam), [2007] FLR (forthcoming) and [2006] EWHC 2898 (Fam), [2006] All ER (D) 234 (Nov) in November 2006 appeared to set a low threshold when permitting publication of identities and information where parents and the media alleged a miscarriage of justice in the family courts. The second part of this article places Webster in the context of the cases discussed in Part 1 and the case of Clayton v Clayton [2006] EWCA Civ 878, [2007] 1 FLR 11, which concerned the scope of s 97 of the Children Act 1989, and then considers its implications for rights protected by Art 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (the Convention). There is a balancing act which must be struck between Article 8 and Article 10 of the Convention and the courts have attempted to encourage more balanced media coverage and protect the right to privacy, particularly as it relates to the children at the centre of these cases. See April [2007] Fam Law for the full article.

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