CCLRP exempted from prohibition on reporting case – 2016vol1#19

The Child Care Law Reporting Project was exempted from a prohibition on reporting on a lengthy case where a child alleged she had been sexually abused. The case continues in Dublin District Court.

When the application for a Care Order for the child, who was already in care under an Interim Care Order, was opened in court, the solicitor for the Child and Family Agency asked for a prohibition on reporting the case. He pointed out that there had already been media commentary on the case, which had led to the identification of the child and the family. He added that this had not involved the CCLRP.

While he was not concerned about the reports of the CCLRP themselves, he said he was concerned that the media might re-publish a report of the CCLRP and this could be linked with information already published, thus further identifying the family and distressing the child. The director of the CCLRP told the court that the project’s Protocol sought to ensure that no identifying information could be published concerning any child or family, but the project could not control the re-publication of its reports.

The judge said that she could design a direction that would restrict the re-publication of the CCLRP.

The court then gave a direction prohibiting the publication of any evidence in the case by any media organisation, which could be lifted on application to the court and on notice to all parties. Her direction stated that this prohibition did not apply to the Child Care Law Reporting Project, but that any report from the CCLRP should be preceded by the statement: “No details of this case, including this report of the Child [Care] Law Reporting Project, can be republished by any media organisations without an application to Court 20, Dolphin House [Dublin], on notice to the Child and Family Agency.”