Q&As

Do original court documents that are not signed as deeds need to be retained, and if so, for how long? Does it have to be the originals that are retained, or can they be scanned and stored electronically while the physical originals are destroyed?

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Published on LexisPSL on 12/05/2021

The following Risk & Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Do original court documents that are not signed as deeds need to be retained, and if so, for how long? Does it have to be the originals that are retained, or can they be scanned and stored electronically while the physical originals are destroyed?
  • The storage limitation principle
  • Setting retention periods
  • Retention of court documents
  • Expiry of retention periods

Do original court documents that are not signed as deeds need to be retained, and if so, for how long? Does it have to be the originals that are retained, or can they be scanned and stored electronically while the physical originals are destroyed?

The storage limitation principle

Storage limitation is one of the six overriding data protection principles which lie at the heart of the data protection regime. For more information, see Practice Note: Data protection principles.

This storage limitation principle is set out in Article 5 of the UK General Data Protection Regulation, Retained Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (UK GDPR) and requires personal data to be kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which that data is processed. This means you should ensure the period for which the personal data is stored is kept to a strict minimum.

There is an exception for personal data processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purpose, subject to the implementation of appropriate safeguards. This is unlikely to be relevant in this case.

Setting retention periods

The UK GDPR does not specify any retention periods and it is for you to decide how long personal data and other business records should be retained. You should be guided by your internal subject

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