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Privacy Policy

How we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service (NICTS) collects personal information online. It applies to information we collect about:

  • visitors to our websites
  • complainants and other individuals in relation to a data protection or freedom of information complaint or enquiry
  • people who use our services, eg who subscribe to our email notification services or request a publication from us

Visitors to our websites

When someone visits www.courtsni.gov.uk we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting either of our websites (www.courtsni.gov.uk or education.courtsni.gov.uk). We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

Use of cookies by the NICTS

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

The table below explains the cookies we use and why.

Name Purpose Content Expires More information
WT_FPC Webtrends Analytics. This cookie is used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. randomly generated number including your anonymised public IP address 2 years Click here for an overview of privacy at Webtrends
NICTS_AcceptCookie This cookie is used to record if a user has accepted the use of cookies on the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service website. A date and time Persistent until you clear your cookie cache or after 1 year  
FedAuth This cookie is essential for the use of online services. It is a unique random number which acts as a token to identify that a person has authenticated with our website. It is set only for those customers logging into the website and contains no data which could be used to identify or track the user.
This cookie is deleted when you log out of our website or close your browser.
randomly generated number After 10 hours, when you log out or close your browser (whichever occurs soonest) Visit the Microsoft website


Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit www.allaboutcookies.org.

You can read how to opt out of future cookies for all sites using WebTrends tracking services here on their website.

Search engine

The search engine on our website is designed to be as powerful and easy to use. The search is made possible by a piece of hardware (a search ‘server’) that is plugged into our server and continuously indexes the content on our site. All search requests are handled by the appliance and the information is not passed on to any third party.

People who make a complaint to us

When we receive a complaint from a person we make up a file containing the details of the complaint. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.

We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide. We do compile and publish statistics showing information like the number of complaints we receive, but not in a form which identifies anyone.

We usually have to disclose the complainant’s identity to whoever the complaint is about. This is inevitable where, for example, the accuracy of a person’s record is in dispute. If a complainant doesn’t want information identifying him or her to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint on an anonymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with our retention policy. This means that information relating to a complaint will be retained for ??? years from closure. It will be retained in a secure environment and access to it will be restricted according to the ‘need to know’ principle.

Similarly, where enquiries are submitted to us we will only use the information supplied to us to deal with the enquiry and any subsequent issues and to check on the level of service we provide.

People who use Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service online services

The NICTS offers various services to the public. For example, we send out email alerts when publications and judgments are published on our site.

We have to hold the details of the people who have requested the service in order to provide it. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for other closely related purposes. For example, we might use information about people who have requested a publication to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received. When people do subscribe to our services, they can cancel their subscription at any time and are given an easy way of doing this.

Complaints or queries

NICTS tries to meet the highest standards when collecting and using personal information. For this reason, we take any complaints we receive about this very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. We would also welcome any suggestions for improving our procedures.

This privacy notice was drafted with brevity and clarity in mind. It does not provide exhaustive detail of all aspects of NICTS collection and use of personal information. However, we are happy to provide any additional information or explanation needed. Any requests for this should be sent to the address below.

Access to personal information

NICTS tries to be as open as it can be in terms of giving people access to their personal information. Individuals can find out if we hold any personal information by making a ‘subject access request’ under the Data Protection Act 1998. If we do hold information about you we will:

  • give you a description of it;
  • tell you why we are holding it;
  • tell you who it could be disclosed to; and
  • let you have a copy of the information in an intelligible form.

To make a request to NICTS for any personal information we may hold you need to put the request in writing addressing it to our Information Access team, or writing to the address provided below.

If you agree, we will try to deal with your request informally, for example by providing you with the specific information you need over the telephone.

If we do hold information about you, you can ask us to correct any mistakes by, once again, contacting the Information Governance department.

Links to other websites

This privacy notice does not cover the links within this site linking to other websites. We encourage you to read the privacy statements on the other websites you visit.

Changes to this privacy notice

We keep our privacy notice under regular review. This privacy notice was last updated on 22 May 2012.

How to contact us

Requests for information about our privacy policy can be emailed to the Communications Group or by writing to:

Information Access Team
Northern Ireland Courts & Tribunals Service
Laganside House
23/27 Oxford Street
Belfast
BT1 3LA