I would like to know what happened in a specific court case,

can you tell me?

 

The general principle is that justice should be done in public, that the public and media have a right to attend court hearings and that information about proceedings should be made publically available. Certain courts however are an exception to this; it depends on the type of case before the court as to whether you can obtain information relating to it.

Where a case is dealt with in open court, then the court staff can provide you with the result of it either over the telephone or in writing. If a case has been dealt with in a closed court ("in camera") then the court cannot provide information to you unless you are a party to the proceedings. We are unfortunately unable to provide information to your relatives or friends on your behalf.

Where you have not attended court and were a party to proceedings or the defendant, you will be written to with the outcome of the hearing within a short period after the hearing has occurred. Please await receipt of this information before making enquiries.

If you were a witness in a case, then the police or person who asked you to attend should contact you and advise you of the outcome of the matter. They will also be able to advise you as to the progress of the case if it is on-going.

If you are unsure as to whether you can request information court staff can advise you.

 

The following matters are ordinarily dealt with in open court:

  • Adult criminal proceedings*
  • Coroners inquisitions
  • Civil claims
  • Matrimonial proceedings (declaration of Decree Nisi, Absolute etc)

* Please note, there are exceptions to this rule and both the media and public may be removed from proceedings should the court determine it appropriate to do so.

The following matters are ordinarily dealt with in closed court:

  • Family proceedings involving children
  • Youth court (criminal) - media and parties to the proceedings may attend only.
  • Civil arbitration hearings
  • Mental health tribunal applications