President of the Family Division namechecks legal blogs in Court of Appeal judgment
Blogosphere gains evermore credibility
The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has included the names of two legal blogs in his latest Court of Appeal judgment.
Sitting alongside Lady Justice King during a private family law case between two parents, Munby was asked to consider the legal implications of the father relying on various covert recordings made by him of the mother over the years. Allowing a further appeal, Munby admitted there is “surprisingly little authority and no adequate guidance” on this. But:
“There are… interesting discussions to be found on the blogosphere — for example, in the Suesspiciousminds and Pink Tape blogs; no doubt there are others — which merit careful consideration.”
The first legal blog mentioned is a combination of the words ‘Dr Seuss’ and ‘suspicious minds’. It is run by Andrew Pack, a care lawyer at Brighton and Hove City Council. He blogs on various family law issues such as child refugees and hair strand testing.
Pack, who was more concerned about the case outcome than his recent blogging fame, told Legal Cheek:
“Whether or not parents can tape record and whether it will be admitted as evidence or used to criticise them is a big deal and I was hoping to get a definitive answer, so I would rather have had the answer than the name check.”
Pink Tape is the creation of family law barrister Lucy Reed, a member of St John’s Chambers in Bristol. An ode to the coloured string trainees and lawyers will be used to binding bundles with, Reed’s blog covers areas including fee-charging McKenzie friends and the value of mediation. Though Reed did not have a comment for Legal Cheek about her newly-found Court of Appeal fame, she did say: “I’m very pleased the issue of covert recording is going to be looked at.”
Munby and King’s judgment is yet another example of legal blogs gaining the credibility more closely associated with journals and textbooks. In fact, an article penned by academics Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King is credited with sparking the Miller case, which saw the government bound to give parliament a free vote on triggering Article 50.
The Suesspiciousminds/Pink Tape namecheck, though unusual, is not the first time a law website has featured in a published judgment.
Legal Cheek scored two mentions in the 56-page Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) judgment striking off ‘Lord Harley’. We were also named in the Supreme Court, during Lord Neuberger and Lord Clarke’s valedictory ceremony.
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