Doriemus- amusing case names
Well it had to happen…
When the Family Law Act was enacted, one of the key changes was to have secrecy provisions. This was because one of the staples of the media before its enactment were articles about the latest divorce drama.
The new s.121 of the Family Law Act provided that court proceedings were open to the public, but with some limited exceptions, there could not be publication of people’s identities.
One of those exceptions was for the use of lawyers in law reports. Lawyers were therefore able to rely on the names of cases when they argued matters in court.
Then came the rise and rise of the internet, and the decision of the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court to publish decisions online. Of course one of the features of publishing online is that anyone can look at the decisions.
The Family Court still reported its significant decisions by name, but the Federal Magistrates Court did so by letter, so that soon we had numerous decisions such as C v. C.
Talk about confusing! There was nothing to distinguish the name of one C v C against another, aside from the citation. Even more confusing for counsel and judges- some judges wanted to refer to the case names, as opposed to the initials!
So now the Family Law Courts are often resorting to pseudonyms. At least this helps preserve the anonymity of the litigants, and enables judges and lawyers to rely on recognised case names.
However, if we are going to rely on good case names, at least we might have amusing ones!