The outgoing head of the family court has revealed he was once asked to rule on a child’s haircut because his parents couldn’t agree.Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, says he has had to make decisions on too many disputes that should be made by parents.The judge said he was once asked to rule on a disagreement about the length of a six-year-old boy’s hair because a father wanted a “crew cut” and a mother “more flowing locks” – saying no judge should have to make that ruling.He also said the family court is being undermined by “downright untruths” on social media. Sir James, who retired on Friday, said his efforts to increase public trust in the courts by making them more open and transparent had been made more challenging by online commenters. –– ADVERTISEMENT ––The judge said in 2014 that family courts should publish judgments online in significant cases and has called for the most secretive court, the Court of Protection, to be made more accessible to journalists. “The simple fact is that in relation to a huge amount of the stuff on social media today and the web today, one could have the most transparent system in the world and it wouldn’t stop people saying what they say. “One could have every single family court completely open to the world at large, one could have complete freedom to report everything except the names, and one would still I suspect, I fear, see on social media the kind of material one sees today,” he said.He said the problem “didn’t exist in the old days” but the internet was now a “completely free, completely unregulated marketplace of information, ideas, dissimulation, misunderstanding, in some cases just downright untruths.”The judge also said he thought the current situation, in which journalists are allowed into some family court hearings, but excluded in some cases, for example adoption proceedings, or when the judge believes that justice could be impeded, has “just about got the balance right”. Sir James, who will be succeeded by Sir Andrew McFarlane, has been outspoken since he took on the role in 2013. He also drew attention to access to justice, suggesting that “mobile courts” could take judges to litigants, rather than them having to travel, in a similar way to a mobile library. “Why should we assume axiomatically that all litigants have to go and see a judge? Why should the judge not go and see the litigants?” he said. He said he still believed that free speech means the “truth will triumph in the market of ideas”, but added that social media means this “doesn’t always work”. One could have every single family court completely open to the world at large, one could have complete freedom to report everything except the names, and one would still I suspect, I fear, see on social media the kind of material one sees todaySir James Munby Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.