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

  • Disclosure—redaction
  • Disclosure pilot scheme
  • What information can be redacted?
  • Redaction—courts’ approach
  • Practical tips when redacting

Redaction is the process by which text is obscured or 'masked'. This can be a means of seeking to maintain the confidentiality of information, most commonly, a name (whether or an individual, entity, process, etc).

Disclosure pilot scheme

You should consider if the proceedings are subject to the disclosure pilot in the Business and Property Courts. For further guidance, see Practice Note: Business and Property Courts—the disclosure pilot scheme, and in particular in relation to the provisions on redaction: Business and Property Courts—the disclosure pilot scheme—Complying with an order for extended disclosure or initial disclosure.

What information can be redacted?

A party is permitted to redact information that does not meet the test for standard disclosure if the information can be blanked out without destroying the sense of the document or making it misleading (Shah v HSBC Private Bank, para [29]).

Where a party has confirmed under oath, usually by way of affidavit, that the concealed parts do not relate to the matters in question, the court will ordinarily disregard those parts (GE Capital, p 998 and Shah v HSBC Private Bank, para [28]).

Before the CPR, the redaction of ‘irrelevant’ material was standard practice (see GE Capital). However, the Court of Appeal in Shah confirmed that, when looking at the test for standard disclosure, it is ‘dangerous to apply pre-CPR