The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Disclosure—inspection
  • What is inspection?
  • What can be inspected?
  • What can be withheld from inspection?
  • Request for inspection—Rule 31.15
  • Inspection under Rule 31.14—documents referred to in statements of case, witness statements, etc
  • How does inspection take place?
  • Costs of inspection
  • Contractual right to inspection
  • Court specific guidance

This Practice Note provides guidance on the interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the CPR. Depending on the court in which your matter is proceeding, you may also need to be mindful of additional provisions—see further below.

This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes:

  1. Disclosure—preparing the list of documents

  2. Disclosure—grounds for objecting to inspection under Rule 31.19—for information on the grounds on which a disclosing party may have a duty or right to withhold documents from inspection

What is inspection?

Inspection is when the parties physically see documents which have been disclosed.

This Practice Note provides guidance on:

  1. the documents that can be inspected—see below

  2. the circumstances in which it may not be possible to inspect a disclosed document—see below

  3. how inspection takes place—see below


Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR), directly applicable from 25 May 2018, relates to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data and introduces substantial amendments to EU and UK data protection law. Typically, evidence involved in the disclosure and inspection process will include personal data. Clients and legal advisors may be data controllers and/or data processors and as such will need to comply with the GDPR. The processing of personal data is permitted under the GDPR where there is a legitimate basis