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Judge rules that naming expert witnesses in care cases is in public interest

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 05 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c761
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    A senior UK judge has rejected arguments from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health that doctors who provided reports and gave evidence in a family court care case should have their identities concealed to protect them from vilification, harassment, and targeting.

    In a judgment expected to set a precedent for future cases Lord Justice Munby ruled that the public interest in knowing the names of experts giving evidence in the family courts outweighed any risk of targeting or harassment of professionals or of their refusing to undertake child protection work.

    Three doctors who were expert witnesses in a care case in Cambridgeshire told the court that they had agreed to help only on the understanding that their identities would …

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