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Freedom of information explained


Getting information under the Act is subject to certain limitations. You must follow particular procedures and time limits.

Getting information on the courts is limited by section 46 (1) of the Act which states as follows:

"This Act does not apply to -

(a) a record held by - 

(i) the courts,

(ii) a tribunal to which the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act, 1921, is applied, or

(iii) a service tribunal within the meaning of section 161 of the Defence Act, 1954, and relating to, or to proceedings in, a court or such a tribunal other than - 

(I) a record that relates to proceedings in a court or such a tribunal held in public but was not created by the court or tribunal and whose disclosure to the general public is not prohibited by the court or the tribunal, or

(II) a record relating to the general administration of the courts or the offices of the courts or such a tribunal or any offices of such a tribunal. "

Court records are under the control of the courts and not the Courts Service. In general, you would have to apply to the court (not the Courts Service) to get information about a court record. This is in line with section 65 of the Court Officers Act, 1926. This states that

"all proofs and all other documents and papers lodged in or handed in to any court in relation to or in the course of the hearing of any suit or matter shall be held by or at the order and disposal of the judge or the senior of the judges by or before whom such suit is heard."