Derbyshire County Council v Shannon Marsden & Ors [2023] EWHC 1892

A High Court judgment has recently been published determining the extent of appropriate reporting by the news media in public law proceedings.

In a particularly tragic case where a young child was killed by his parents following care proceedings brought by a Local Authority, the parents were convicted in a high profile criminal trial.  In parallel public law proceedings relating to the deceased child’s sibling, representatives from the news media, including the BBC, sought material from the public law proceedings in an effort better to understand decision making that had been taken both by the local authority and Lay Magistrates in the earlier proceedings.

Andrew Norton KC, (instructed by Kieran Clarke Green), represented the subject child and Lorraine Cavanagh KC, (instructed by Banner Jones) represented the child’s carers.

Following argument from the news media and on behalf of HMCTS, Lieven J determined that both the Lay Magistrates and their clerk could be named by the press but left in place injunctions that protected the anonymity of the child and the child’s carers.

Full Judgment

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