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3.154It is an offence for anyone to publish any material intended to identify any child as being involved in any children’s proceedings before a magistrates’ court or that child’s address or school.490  It is a defence for the accused to prove that he did not know, and had no reason to suspect, that the published material was intended to identify the child.  The court or the Lord Chancellor may lift the restriction if satisfied that the child’s welfare requires it.491

3.155As for the higher courts, the Administration of Justice Act 1960 prohibited the publication of information relating to proceedings before any court sitting in private in cases where the proceedings:

(a)relate to the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court with respect to minors,

(b)are brought under the Children Act 1989, or

(c)otherwise relate to the maintenance or upbringing of any minor.492

3.156The provision prohibits publication of the contents of any reports made in connection with the hearing and of proofs of witnesses and submissions made during proceedings.  It does not prevent publication of the names and addresses or photograph of the child nor of details about the order.493


Public proceedings

3.157The statutory power of the High Court to place a ward of court in the care (or under the supervision) of a local authority under the Family Law Reform Act 1969 has been repealed.494  Furthermore, the High Court no longer can exercise its inherent jurisdiction to require a child to be placed in the care (or put under the supervision) of a local authority, or to require a child to be accommodated by a local authority.495

3.158The High Court is also prevented from exercising its inherent jurisdiction so as to make a child who is the subject of a care order a ward of court.496  It is now clear that a child in care does not become a ward upon the making of a

490 Section 97(2)-(6).

491 Section 97(4).  This is intended to apply to cases where it is in the child’s interests that the facts be disclosed.

492 Administration of Justice Act 1960, section 12 as amended by the Children Act 1989, schedule 13, paragraph 14.

493 White, Carr & Lowe,  op cit at  paragraph 9.29.  The High Court may, nevertheless, impose specific restrictions under its inherent jurisdiction.  See further, especially for relevant judgements, Clarke Hall & Morrison on Children, vol. 1 paragraphs 303-330.

494 Section 100(1).

495 Section 100(2)(a)(b).  All the High Court can do is to direct a local authority to investigate the child’s circumstances under section 37.

496 Section 100(2)(c).  Where the child is in care, no one may seek a section 8 other than a residence order: section 9(1).

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