Full case report

A & others v Times Newspapers Ltd & Others

Reference [2002] EWHC 2444 (Fam); [2003] 1 All ER 587; [2003] 1 FLR 689
Court Family Division

Judge Sumner J

Date of Judgment 27 Nov 2002


Summary

Reporting Restrictions – Family – Children – Applications by Media to vary/discharge order – Costs


Facts

The press applicants sought to report parts of a hearing concerning a dispute within 2 families about whether their children should have the MMR vaccine. The application was unsuccessful and all the families sought their costs against the press applicants.


Issue

Whether it was appropriate to make an order for costs.


Held

Given a previous provisional order that parts of the trial should be heard in public the press should not be penalised in costs for making an application to that effect.


Comment

Despite the fact that successful press applicants are rarely awarded the costs of lifting unjustified reporting restrictions (see Ex parte News Group Newspapers Ltd [2002] EMLR 160 the court made it clear that there was a considerable costs risk to the press in intervening at the eleventh hour.