Full case report

Appleton v Gallagher

Reference [2015] EWHC 2689 (Fam)
Court Family Division of the High Court

Judge Mr Justice Mostyn

Date of Judgment 28 Sep 2015


Summary

Prohibitions on reporting the financial remedy proceedings between Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton were continued by the High Court until the Family Court judgment, at which time the issue could be revisited.


Facts

News Group Newspapers, the publishers of the Sun, sought to report the trial of the financial remedy proceedings between Liam Gallagher and Nicole Appleton before HHJ O’Dwyer in the Family Court. Gallagher and Appleton opposed any reporting. Judge O’Dwyer referred to the matter to the High Court. The issue came before Mostyn J.


Issue

Whether the press should be allowed to report the trial of the financial remedy proceedings as it happened (save for information relating to the minor children), or whether a broad restriction on reporting should stay in place pending judgment.


Held

Mostyn J followed his own decision in DL v SL [2015] EWHC 2621 (Fam), again disagreeing with the approach of Holman J as indicated in Luckwell v Limata [2014] EWHC 502 (Fam), in finding that the default position was one of privacy and the press should justify in each case why the “core privacy” should breached. However he stated that his decision only related to the reporting of the trial as it happened, and the trial Judge would have the final decision on how much information to put in his judgment on the merits, and how much reporting to allow.


Comment

This is further episode in the continuing judicial debate within the Family Division as to the extent to which Financial Remedy proceedings should be reportable. The Judge gave permission to appeal, expressing the view that the Court of Appeal “will resolve the unhappy divergence of judicial approach”. In the event no appeal was brought and the issue remains unresolved at appellate level.


Instructing Solicitors

News Group Newspaper in-house


Links

Mostyn J Judgment on Bailli
Sun report of HHJ O'Dwyer's judgment