Landmark ruling recognises harm from naming and shaming

14 Dec 2006

A landmark gagging order highlights an archaic law that is potentially damaging to innocent third parties, says family law group Resolution.

An unprecedented high court ruling last week prevented a betrayed husband revealing the identity of his wife’s high profile lover to the media.

Mr Justice Eady granted an injunction to stop the identity of ‘CC’, a man known to be in the “public eye”, being revealed by his lover’s husband on the grounds that it would cause unnecessary further suffering for CC’s wife and children.

Resolution chairman Andrew Greensmith says the ruling highlights just how outdated the current law is in allowing third parties to be named. Naming and shaming has a negligible impact on divorce settlements and instead introduces acrimony, tension and bitterness; creates additional barriers to an amicable separation and brings innocent third parties - particularly children - into the spotlight unnecessarily, he says.

“We help people look at ways of taking out bitterness and blame, to minimise conflict in divorce proceedings and ease the pain of family breakdown, particularly if there are children involved.

“Why should a well known personality be granted this exemption when the average person is given no such protection? The ruling is a signal from the high courts that the current system is damaging to innocent third parties, and particularly children.”