A judge has ruled that journalists from a small group of media organisations can have access to a hearing in the Court of Protection, which rarely allows proceedings to be reported.

Newspapers are now able to identify the parties in the case, which concerns a father's campaign to care for his autistic son. Mark Neary's son Steven was taken into a "positive behaviour unit" for a proposed three days in December 2009 after Neary fell ill.

But Hillingdon Council later refused to allow Steven to return to his father's care under a Deprivation of Liberty Order, under which he could only return home for two hours at a time and was barred from staying overnight. Likewise Neary was allowed to visit his son but not stay overnight.

The decision by Justice Peter Jackson follows applications to the court by the Independent, Guardian News and Media, the BBC, the Press Association and Times Newspapers over campaigns by their respective newspapers to have access to case hearings and report the identities of those involved.

The Independent, which claims to have led the campaign, led with a front page report on the ruling today. According to the report, two further court hearings need to be held to consider whether Hillingdon council acted illegally by refusing to allow Steven back into his father's care and to settle his future arrangements.

Neary told the Independent today: "I'm delighted. This has been an incredibly long struggle. I have tried everything that I could to persuade the local authority that living at home with his family was in Steven's best interest. Most importantly of all, Steven is at home, and is happy.

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