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Reserved Judgments

The Lord Chief Justice believes that openness and transparency in judgment writing is an important element of promoting confidence in the justice system. He considers that it is essential for parties to proceedings to receive a reasoned judgment within a reasonable time and has issued guidance to the Judiciary which sets out the timescales for the production and delivery of reserved judgments and introduces a process which will ensure parties are kept informed about when they can expect judgment.

The guidance states that the vast majority of reserved judgments should be produced and delivered within days or weeks of the conclusion of the proceedings. In longer or complex cases, judges should aim to deliver their judgments within three months.

Where a judgment has been reserved for more than three months, the Lord Chief Justice’s Office will contact the judge to request a date for delivery or an explanation for the delay. This will be passed onto the parties. If the parties are dissatisfied with the information provided they will be able to make representations to the Lord Chief Justice’s Office.

The guidance does not prevent any party from applying to the court or making representations to the Lord Chief Justice’s Office for delivery of a judgment more quickly if there is some urgency about the matter.