A judgment in a case involving a couple fighting for the return of their baby, who was taken into care shortly after she was born, can be published, a judge said yesterday.
Mr Justice Charles said the public interest was best promoted by balanced and properly informed reporting and discussion.
"I am of the view that the publication of more judgments of the decisions of the family courts in an anonymised form should assist to promote that, albeit in a more arid environment than reporting that is linked to identified persons," he said.
The judge also said previously unpublished decisions in earlier proceedings involving the same family could also be published.
His comments came in a judgment he handed down at the High Court in London following interim hearings in proceedings involving a couple who have been engaged in a battle with Birmingham social services department since shortly after the death of their four-month-old first child, a son, in 1999.
Yesterday's judgment concerned issues to do with the proceedings, including expert evidence.
The couple had a second child, a daughter, in 2000 - but she was taken into care then handed over for adoption on the orders of a judge in the Family Division of the High Court, who found that the mother had killed the first baby, and had previously caused him harm by obstructing his airways.
The findings followed evidence from Professor Sir Roy Meadow, who said it was more likely than not that the mother had caused the baby's death - a view with which another expert witness disagreed.
The couple, who come from Birmingham and cannot be named for legal reasons, had a third child in summer of 2004.
The council started care proceedings over the baby soon after she was born, and she was placed with foster parents, although the natural parents are allowed supervised contact.
The couple have been fighting since then to raise their concerns over what they say was Prof Meadow's wrong conclusions about the reasons for the first child's death, and for the return of their youngest daughter.
They have accepted that the eldest daughter, having been adopted, will not return to them.
Mr Justice Charles said in a judgment that he had not needed to be persuaded that the case raised issues of general public interest, which included:
* The Family Court's approach to cases in which parents sought a review of an earlier finding that a child of theirs was the victim of harm inflicted by one or both of them.
* The Family Court's approach to cases concerning allegations that a child was the victim of inflicted harm.
Points of general public interest raised in his judgment, he said, included:
* The dilemma facing local authorities, doctors, courts and the parties in such cases
* The differences between Criminal and Family proceedings
* The role of experts
* When a Family Court - and, through its order, a local authority - should have the power to intervene in the lives of a family in cases where a child had shown symptoms which were consistent with inflicted injury, but could not be diagnosed as having been the result of deliberate action.
Earlier in proceedings involving the couple, in November 2000, Mrs Justice Bracewell gave a judgment in public.
But she had also given one, which was unpublished, in June 2000, and Mr Justice Kirkwood had given another, also unpublished, in October 2001.
These could now be published, although they would first have to be rendered anonymous, said Mr Justice Charles, as publication was necessary to allow a proper understanding of the points raised in the case and made in his current decision.
The people involved - except those who had already been named in the anonymised judgments - should not be identified at this stage, he said.
The judge said there was force in the assertion that a story linked to people could have a greater impact and thus bring the issues of general public interest to the attention of wider sections of the public.
He added that Prof Meadow could be identified, as his connection with the case was already in the public domain, and because one aspect of it could not be discussed sensibly without his being identified.