R (AB) -v- Nottinghamshire County Council (anonymity order)

Court of Appeal Civil DivisionAnonymity Order

Case number: CA-2022-002110

In the Court of Appeal, Civil Division

18 April 2023


The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Warby


R (AB)


Nottinghamshire County Council


On consideration of the application for permission to appeal in this case which has been anonymised to date
And on consideration of the papers and without an oral hearing


  1. Until 1 April 2031 or further order in the meantime
    (1) there must be no publication of (a) the name or address of (i) the child referred to in the parties’ statements of case as “Child X”, (ii) the claimant (iii) the school, the governors of which are the second defendants to the claim (b) any still or moving image or (c) any other matter, if the publication of such matter would be likely to lead to the identification of a person as being the child referred to in the parties’ statements of case as “Child X”;
    (2) no document containing matter of the publication of which is prohibited by paragraph (1) above shall be supplied by the court pursuant to CPR 5.4C or otherwise unless a written application for permission to obtain such a document has first been filed and served on the parties and the court has made an order granting permission.
  2. Any person affected by the order at 1 above may apply to discharge or vary it but any such application must be made in writing on at least 3 days’ notice to all parties.


  1. I continue anonymity for “Child X” in the terms set out above on the basis that this derogation from open justice is required, and is the minimum necessary, to protect the rights and best interests of a child who is not a party or a witness, whose gender identity is at the heart of this case.
  2. A prohibition on identification of the child itself is plainly required for those purposes. Identification of the claimant or the school would be liable to lead to the identification of the child as a subject of the claim or aspects of it and to the public disclosure of intimate private information about the child. The open justice principle does not require such disclosure. The issues in the case, the way in which they have been resolved, and the reasons for that, are all transparent without such disclosure. The child’s identity is not central to any of those matters. I have not been able, however, to detect any basis for thinking that anonymisation of the Council is required.
  3. The duration of the anonymity order is chosen with a view to its expiry on Child X achieving their majority. If any person wishes to shorten or extend the period of the order or to modify it in any other way they may apply to vary that aspect of the order.
  4. My decision to refuse permission to appeal against the decision of Farbey J [2022] EWHC 2707 (Admin) (sub nom R (AB) v (1) A County Council and (2) the Governing Body of a School) is set out and explained in a separate order.