Making a request
Requests for an audio recording or written transcript of court proceedings within Northern Ireland
Requests for a CD of audio recordings or written transcripts should be made in writing to the Central Office, Royal Courts of Justice.
Requests will be placed before the Lord Chief Justice for consideration. This policy also applies where a judge directs the parties to obtain a CD/transcript (except in the case of ongoing proceedings).
When making a request, the following information should be provided:
- the full details of the case including ICOS number, names of the parties,dates and times of hearings, the presiding judge and the court venue (including, where possible, the Courtroom)
- detailed reasons for the request including the purpose for which the material is required and
- whether the request is for the whole or a specific part of the proceedings
Considering a request
The Lord Chief Justice will consider the request and, if approved, the applicant will be required to pay an upfront fee of £30.00 and sign an undertaking before the CD will be processed. The prescribed fee will be applied to all requests unless the applicant is eligible for remission or exemption of the fee.2 The applicant will be required to pay the balance of the fee (if any) before the CD will be provided. If the applicant fails to submit the fee, the request will be deemed to be withdrawn and a fresh application (including payment of an upfront fee) will have to be made. Undertakings should be signed and returned by post, fax or as an attachment to an email (electronic signatures will not be accepted).
CDs will ordinarily be provided. From 1st September 2018 CD’s will be encrypted. Requestors will receive an email with instructions explaining how to open the audio. 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.
Our aim is to issue a response in 10 working days. Transcripts may take longer to produce depending on the length of the hearing. If a request is more urgent than this timeframe, the applicant should highlight the reason for this in the request (e.g. a case is listed for a particular date).
In general, CDs or transcripts 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.
Contact details for the Central Office:Central Office
Royal Courts of Justice
BT1 3JF DX: Central Office, DX 456 NR, Belfast
Fax Number – 028 90 313836
1 £30.00 is the fee prescribed for a CD audio recording of up to one hour of the proceedings. The fee for transcripts is £1 per folio in criminal trials and £1 per folio in civil trials.
2 Email the Central Office for enquiries in relation to paying the fees.
3 For cases heard prior to 2004 this may take longer.