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11 October 2018

Press Should Have Access To Court Lists, Says No 10

Number 10 Downing Street has stressed that courts must make the court lists available to journalists after instances were reported of officials withholding lists because of data protection rules.  

Asked whether officials would be right to withhold lists on data protection grounds, Prime Minister Theresa May's official spokesman said: "That absolutely should not happen. Court lists will continue to be fully available to members of the press.

"The Court Service has a clear protocol that allows journalists to obtain court listings. Guidance is given to all staff and it remains unaffected by GDPR rules,” Press Association reported.

"The Courts and Tribunal Service has reminded staff of their responsibilities to prevent any repeat of these incidents."

The Protocol for Sharing Court Registers and Court Lists with Local Newspapers sets out the arrangements negotiated by the News Media Association  for free supply of advance court lists by magistrates courts and for free supply of the magistrates court register of judgments for reporting round ups.  

As part of its work on open justice, the NMA has obtained Ministerial and official assurances that the protocol requirements will remain as court reforms develop.