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(Family Division; Hedley J; 11 August 2005)
The father had abducted the child at one stage in the proceedings and the case had been resolved by negotiation. Both parents consented to the discharge of previous orders and subsequent withdrawal of all applications for orders under the Children Act 1989 on the basis of a shared parenting plan. The case was adjourned into open court so that publicity could be given to the approach adopted in this case in the hope that it might commend itself to others as a basis for discussion and negotiation. There was one matter upon which the parties could not agree and that was whether the injunction regarding publicity should be lifted. The father wanted the injunction to be lifted entirely, the guardian wanted it to remain in place and the mother did not mind there being some publicity providing the child was not identified. The court held that the child's peace and freedom should outweigh the father's right to freedom of speech and that this is broadly reflected in the Children Act 1989, s 97. The open court proceedings were exempted from the injunction itself providing they were not used in such a way that the child could be identified. The court held that the injunction should continue until the child reaches 18 or another order of the court is made.
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