Channel 4 film given go-ahead

Injunction to restrain care documentary refused

Mr Justice Munby today handed down his judgment giving the reasons for his refusal to grant an injunction to prevent transmission of a Channel 4 documentary scheduled for 8 June.

The documentary, “Being Pamela”, is a portrait of Pamela Edwards, an adult with Dissociative Identity Disorder (a multiple personality disorder). Ms Edwards features prominently in the documentary and talks about her life. The film explores why Ms Edwards developed four internal personalities. 

The Official Solicitor and St Helen’s Council applied under the Family Court’s inherent jurisdiction to prevent transmission of the programme. The application also concerned an article about the documentary written by the film’s director, David Modell, for publication in the Sunday Times. The case concerned whether Ms Edwards had capacity to consent to filming and broadcast and, if she did, whether transmission would be in her best interests.

In a long and detailed judgment the Judge held that the Official Solicitor had not satisfied him that it would be shown that Pamela did not have capacity to consent to participation in and transmission of the programme and that, contrary to the Official Solicitor’s submissions, on the balance of the evidence transmission would be more likely to be beneficial rather than harmful to Pamela’s interests. 

The Judge criticised the Official Solicitor’s conduct of the application both in terms of delay and the lack of supporting evidence. He also expressed concern that the Official Solicitor had not even contacted Pamela to ascertain her views on the programme.

Click here for the 5RB case report.