Access to information held in criminal court records

The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Access to information held in criminal court records
  • What case information is held in court records?
  • Open justice principle
  • What information do the courts publish about ongoing criminal cases?
  • How can the public or third parties obtain information about a criminal case?
  • Guidance supporting media access to courts and tribunals
  • How can a party or a person directly affected by a criminal case obtain information about it?
  • How will the court determine an application for information?
  • Determining requests for particular types of court held information
  • Using court information in evidence

Access to information held in criminal court records

This Practice Note provides guidance on when parties, the public or media may request access to information held on file by the criminal courts in England and Wales in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Rules, SI 2020/759 (CrimPR). It explains the type of information that can be accessed by a non-party or a party affected by the case and also explains when the court’s permission is required, any conditions to be satisfied to gain access, the process and requirements for making an application seeking access to information held by the criminal courts as well as explaining when a party to a prosecution can object to the disclosure of information held on in court records. It also explains the position in relation to the provision of information by the criminal courts with the media and court reporters.

The rules contained in CrimPR, SI 2020/759, rr 5.75.11 enable the court to release information held on court records about the cases being heard in the criminal courts in England and Wales. It is important for practitioners to advise clients involved in criminal proceedings of the risk that certain information produced for the purposes of the prosecution may be accessible by the public. Practitioners therefore need to be aware what information about their clients’ cases may be disclosed to the public and press and be ready to advise their

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