Requests for an audio recording or written transcript of court proceedings within Northern Ireland1
Requests for CD audio recordings or written transcripts of recordings of court proceedings made by parties, solicitors, the PSNI, the PPS, Police Ombudsman, etc. must be made in writing2 to the Central Office, Royal Courts of Justice, the contact details of which are set out below. Requests will be placed before the Lord Chief Justice for consideration.
When making a request, the following information must be provided:
- full details of the case, including names of the parties, dates & times of hearings, the presiding judge and the Court venue (including, where possible, the Courtroom);
- detailed reasons for making the request, including the purpose for which the material is required; and
- whether the applicant is seeking a record of the whole or a specific part of the proceedings.
If a request is approved prescribed fees will be applied. These are £25 per hour of audio or part thereof for a CD audio recording or, if the applicant requests and is granted a written transcript, 78p per folio in criminal trials and 68p per folio in civil trials (approximately per paragraph).
Any applications for fee exemptions or remissions will be dealt with in accordance with the Fee Policy which is set out here on our website.
The Lord Chief Justice will only approve written transcripts in exceptional circumstances. If a written transcript is required, a full and detailed written reason must be supplied.
Where a request is approved, the applicant will be required to pay in advance the fee for the CD or transcript. The applicant will also be required to sign an undertaking in advance of a CD being released (The applicant must sign and return the undertaking by either posting, faxing, or scanning and emailing it, but an electronic signature will not be accepted.)
Our aim is to issue a response in 103 working days. Transcripts take longer to produce depending on the length of the hearing. If a request is more urgent than that the applicant should highlight why this is so in the request (e.g. a case is listed for a particular date).
In general, transcripts or recordings will only be available in respect of proceedings in the Court of Judicature, Crown courts and family care centres. It should be noted that for cases before August 2004 there will be no digital recording, although there may be an audio tape. For older cases, the court reporter’s shorthand notes may no longer be available.
The CD recording of the proceedings can be played on a PC using Windows Media Player. The audio recording can then be transcribed by the user in accordance with the undertaking given in respect of the CD.
Contact details for the Central Office:
Royal Courts of Justice
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
DX 456 NR
Fax Number – 028 90 313836
1 Requests by parties in ongoing proceedings may be made directly to the trial judge.
2 Requests by telephone may be considered in exceptional circumstances but must be followed up in writing.
3 For cases heard prior to 2004 this may take longer.