XZ v YZ  EWFC 4920 May 2022
Published: 23/05/2022 09:00
H’s application for a reporting restriction order (RRO) against background of Mostyn J’s decision in Xanthopoulos v Rakshina ⁠ EWFC 30 that a financial remedy judgment (which is not mainly about child maintenance) may be fully reported without anonymity unless the court has made a case-specific RRO. H applied to prevent the disclosure of any private and commercially sensitive material; or for anonymity of the parties, their children, and H's business interests, although his draft order was in wider terms. He argued that disclosure in respect of his interest in an overseas venture could expose him to liability and even criminal sanction, prejudice him in relation to third parties, and prejudice his business partner; and that disclosure including Replies were made before November 2021 decision in (BT v CU ⁠ EWFC 87 and thus in expectation of anonymity; and that disclosure was extracted under compulsion (being W’s application).
It was unclear to what extent H’s evidence would actually disclose prejudicial information, and whether press would wish to oppose the RRO if they had notice. This meant that the Articles 6, 8, and 10 balancing exercise per Re S ⁠ UKHL 47 would be based on incomplete information. Mostyn J therefore made an interim RRO ‘to endure only until the implementation of the full Re S balancing exercise in the light of all of the evidence at the end of the case’, noting that this ‘would be a useful procedure in many cases. It would avoid a wastage of time at the beginning of the case and would ensure that the balancing exercise is done on the best available evidence’; . The media would lose the opportunity to live-report the proceedings, ‘but this prejudice is minor compared to the prejudice that might be suffered by H and by the media if I were to make an incorrect RRO at this stage’; .