Public access to court documents and information in civil proceedings
Public access to court documents and information in civil proceedings

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

  • Public access to court documents and information in civil proceedings
  • Applicable rules
  • Cost
  • What is a statement of case?
  • Statements of case filed after 2 October 2006
  • Request
  • Application
  • Preventing public access to statements of case and documents on the court file
  • Judgments and orders
  • Documents filed by parties other than statements of case, or communications with the court
  • More...

This Practice Note provides guidance on when the public may access documents on the court file used in civil proceedings. It explains the type of documents that can be accessed by a non-party, such as statements of case, judgments and orders and other documents on the court file such as communications between the court and a party or other person. It also considers whether the court’s permission is required, any conditions to be satisfied to gain access such as whether it is in the interest of open justice and the courts’ inherent jurisdiction to determine how to exercise that principle, the process and requirements for making an application seeking access to court documents and information, preventing access to statements of case and court documents the position in relation to the media and court reporters. Guidance is given on searching court registers and on obtaining electronically filed documents. Special consideration is given to cross-border mediation documents.

For further guidance on subsequent use that could be made of documents disclosed in proceedings, including those read or referred to in court; confidential information; and the status and use of witness statements—see Practice Notes:

  1. Collateral use of documents in civil proceedings

  2. Use of confidential information in civil proceedings

  3. Witness statements and other factual evidence—status, use and immunity

Applicable rules

It is important to advise parties about to embark on civil proceedings

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