Friday 22 November 2019

Missing judge's name is revealed

The identities of everyone involved in the case had been kept secret
The identities of everyone involved in the case had been kept secret

Judicial officials have revealed the identity of a judge whose name was missing from a written family court ruling she had made.

The identities of everyone involved in the case had been kept secret.

Parties were listed as "RBC", "R" & "J-M", lawyers were not named and there was no indication of the identity of the judge.

An MP who campaigns for improvements in family justice said he presumed that there had been a mistake which would be put right.

And a spokesman for the Judicial Office later named the judge as Eleanor Owens.

Detail of the case has emerged in the written ruling published on a legal website.

The ruling related to a family court hearing in Reading, Berkshire.

Judge Owens had been asked to make decisions about three children aged nine, six, and two after social workers raised welfare concerns. The hearing was adjourned for further evidence.

"I understand the need to protect children in family court cases," said Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming.

"But not identifying the judge is taking anonymisation a step too far, I think."

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