Burke v Central Independent Television Plc

CourtCourt of Appeal (Ireland)
Judgment Date09 February 1994
Date09 February 1994

Court of Appeal

Before Lord Justice Neill, Lord Justice Hoffmann and Lord Justice Waite

Mrs R
Central Independent Television plc

Broadcasting - children - publication of identity - jurisdiction of court to restrain

Freedom for broadcasters

The media were entitled to publish the results of criminal proceedings and what should be left out was mainly a matter for editorial decision. Accordingly, the parental jurisdiction of the court should not be invoked to restrain the publication of a matter of public record or to restrain the publication of a television programme which was in no way concerned with the upbringing or care of a child, but merely affected her indirectly.

The Court of Appeal so stated giving reasons for allowing an appeal on January 27 from the order made by Mr Justice Kirkwood in chambers, on the application of the mother, Mrs R, to prevent Central Independent Television plc from broadcasting a programme that evening without making changes which the television company considered that they were not obliged to make.

The television company, broadcasting a series on the work of Scotland Yard, were due to broadcast at 9.30pm that evening a programme on the work of the Obscene Publication Squad, in particular the work of detectives engaged in "Operation Cathedral" which led to the tracing, arrest and conviction of a man who was the father of the child in the present proceedings.

On October 31, 1992 the father was sentenced to six years imprisonment on two charges of indecency involving young boys. On January 24, 1994 the television company broadcasted a trailer of the programme to be shown on January 27 which was seen by the mother who had been formerly married to the father and by whom she had had a child S, now aged five.

The mother instructed solicitors who pointed out to Central that the programme contained scenes which would identify the mother and S resulting in serious distress to S. Negotiations followed in which Central, without admission of any liability to do so, undertook to remove from the programme any pictures showing the house and the road where the mother lived, any pictures of the mother or S and any reference to the fact that the father had had a wife or child.

The mother remained concerned that pictures of the father in the programme would identify herself and the child resulting in harm to the child. She made an application to the judge who ordered that Central might broadcast the programme only if moving...

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12 cases
  • Hickey & Agnew (A Minor) v Sunday Newspapers Ltd
    • Ireland
    • High Court
    • 8 October 2010
    ...& PACIFIC MAGAZINES NZ LTD 2005 1 NZLR 1 2004 NZCA 34 R v CENTRAL INDEPENDENT TELEVISION PLC 1994 FAM 192 1994 3 WLR 20 1994 3 AER 641 1994 2 FLR 151 1995 1 FCR 521 A v B PLC & ANOR 2003 QB 195 2002 3 WLR 542 2002 2 AER 545 M v DRURY & ORS 1994 2 IR 8 1995 1 ILRM 108 1994/11/3447 POSTAL &......
  • Harris v Harris; Attorney General v Harris
    • United Kingdom
    • Family Division
    • Invalid date
    ...658, [1994] 3 WLR 36, CA. R v Central Independent Television plc[1995] 1 FCR 521, [1994] Fam 192, [1994] 3 All ER 641, [1994] 3 WLR 20, [1994] 2 FLR 151, R v Secretary of State for the Home Dept, ex p Simms [2000] 2 AC 115, [1999] 3 All ER 400, [1999] 3 WLR 328, HL. Redland Bricks Ltd v Mor......
  • Pelling v Bruce-Williams (Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening)
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 25 July 2006
    ...to be followed because of inconsistency with earlier decisions of the court, particularly Mrs R v. Central Independent Television Plc (1994) 2 FLR 151 and Re Z (A Minor) (Freedom of publication) (1996) 1 FLR 19 and Re Geldof (Celebrities: Publicity) [1999] 1FLR 409 CA. Third he submits that......
  • Pelling v Bruce-Williams (Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs intervening)
    • United Kingdom
    • Family Division
    • 2 July 2003
    ...the exceptions either in Article 6 or Article 10. He drew to my attention a number of cases in particular Mrs R v Central Television PLC [1994] 2 FLR 151, Re Geldof (Celebrities; Publicity) [1999] 1 FLR 409 and Re Rhodes (Court of Appeal: Order Against Identification) [1999] 2 FLR 145. In p......
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