Access to information

Access to information

The UK Supreme Court's Information Charter, freedom of information and data protection policies and publication scheme are available via the following links:

UKSC Information Charter

UKSC Information Charter (PDF)

Purpose

This information charter sets out the standards that you can expect from the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) when we request or hold personal information about you;
how you can get access to your personal data;
and what you can do if you think standards are not being met.

This charter will be reviewed annually and updated to take into account any changes in legislation or our policies.

About personal information

Personal 'data' is information that relates to living individuals. It does not include information relating to dead people, groups or communities of people, organisations or businesses. The Data Protection Act 1998 regulates the management of personal information.

Responsibilities

The Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) will ensure that information security policies and procedures are reviewed and implemented across business functions ensuring ongoing continuous improvement. These policies aim to ensure that the requirements of confidentiality, integrity and availability are maintained at each stage in the information lifecycle. The Departmental Records Officer is responsible for responding to requests for information. The SIRO deals with complaints about how we have handled your request. His contact details are:

William Arnold,
Director of Corporate Services,
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,
Parliament Square,
London, SW1P 3BD

Email

The Information Asset Owners manage and monitor the whole of the information lifecycle from the creation of documents through to deletion. They are also responsible for ensuring that their staff are compliant with all policies and procedures.

All staff and contractors are trained in and are aware of their responsibilities as set out in the UKSC's policies.

Types of information

The UKSC holds both personal and non-personal information which is critical to its judicial activities, together with systems relating to its support functions such as human resources, facilities and finance.

How our information is managed

We manage, maintain and protect all information according to legislation and best practices.

We have security measures in place to maintain and safeguard the confidentiality, integrity and availability of our systems and data. All information is stored, processed and communicated in a secure manner making it readily available to authorised users.

Personal information

We know how important it is to protect individuals' privacy and to comply with the Data Protection Act. We will safeguard your information and in most circumstances will not disclose personal data without consent. If we ask you for personal information we will:

  • let you know why we need it, where it is not obvious;
  • only ask for what we need, and not collect excessive or irrelevant information;
  • make sure nobody has access to it who should not;
  • let you know if we share it with other organisations; and
  • only keep it for as long as we need to in accordance with our retention schedule.
Access to personal information

You have a statutory right of access (certain exceptions apply) to personal data about yourself under the Data Protection Act. The right of access here is to personal data held on computer or on structured manual files and you are entitled to be informed of any personal data:

  • concerning yourself being held by the UKSC and if so,
  • to be given a description of the data in question
  • to be told for what purposes the data is processed
  • to be told of the recipients or classes of recipients to whom the data are, or may be disclosed.

You are also entitled to be given a copy of the information with any unintelligible terms explained and to be given any information available to UKSC as to the source of the data. The Freedom of Information Act extends this right to personal data held on any type of file. If you wish to apply for access to your personal data known as a "subject access request", you should write to:

Paul Brigland,
Departmental Records Officer,
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom,
Parliament Square,
London,
SW1P 3BD

Email

Requests for access to personal data must be dealt with promptly and in any event within 40 days of receipt of sufficient information to be able to trace the data requested. We may charge a fee, not exceeding £10.00. It is our policy to charge a £10 fee.

However, if your personal data is filed with or placed in the custody of the UKSC for the purposes of court proceedings or created by the UKSC, or a member of the administrative staff of the UKSC for the purposes of court proceedings the exemption under section 34 of the DP Act applies. To access such information you should make an application under Rule 39(3) which provides for documents held by the Court to be inspected on formal application to the Registrar by completing Form 2 for which a fee is payable. There are additional charges for photocopies of documents.

You can ask for information to be in any reasonable format and in languages other than English but there may be an additional charge for this. We will discuss the likely cost of your request with you so that you can decide whether to go ahead. If someone else has copyright on the information you want, you may have to pay them to use it. If so, this cost will be outside our control.

Further advice

When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law. If you consider that your information has been handled incorrectly you can contact the Information Commissioner for independent advice about data protection, privacy and data-sharing issues.

You can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Tel: 01625 545 745

Fax: 01625 524 510

Information Commissioner's office website

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Publication Scheme of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC)

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) encourages public authorities to make as much information as possible available to the public proactively. It establishes a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities; sets out exemptions from that right and places a number of obligations on public authorities. Under the Act, you are entitled to make a request for information held by the UKSC :

  1. to be informed in writing by the UKSC whether it holds information of the description specified in your request and
  2. if that is the case, to have that information communicated to you.
Court records

Some information may not be available because it falls within one of the exemptions of the FOI Act. When that happens, we will tell you which exemption applies and, in most cases, why the information cannot be released. There is no right of access under the FOI Act to information contained in court records as section 32 gives an absolute exemption from disclosure of such information. This exemption applies regardless of the content of the information.

Access to the UKSC's court records is dealt with in Rule 39 of the Supreme Court Rules. Rule 39(3) provides that all documents held by the Court may be inspected by the press or members of the public on application to the Registrar. The rules provide a procedure for such applications by completing Form 2 and a fee is payable. There are additional charges for photocopies of documents. The Registrar may refuse an application for reasons of commercial confidentiality, national security or in the public interest.

Requests under the FOI Act

All FOI requests must be dealt with within 20 working days. The Act also provides for an appeal mechanism whereby you may apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether we dealt with your request in accordance with the Act. In accordance with section 12 of the Act we will not comply with a request where we estimate that the work involved will exceed the 'appropriate limit' of £600 or 24 hours staff time. We will, however, provide advice and assistance so that requests might be refined or limited to come within the cost limit.

Regulation 6 of the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 sets out the activities that can be charged for in complying with any requests. These include the cost of photocopying, printing and postage. We will contact you to let you know the cost of dealing with your request before we action it and this will be payable in advance.

Every public authority subject to the FOI Act is required to adopt and maintain a publication scheme which follows the model scheme set out by the Information Commissioner. Details of the model publication scheme are available on the Information Commissioner's office website.

A publication scheme is a commitment routinely and proactively to provide information to the public. It explains what information is routinely made available, where and when that information is available and whether there will be a charge for supplying the information.

We make a significant amount of information available under our scheme. One of its benefits is that it makes information easily accessible and without charge. This means that, in many cases, the information you are looking for will already be available and there will be no need for you to make a formal request under the FOI Act.

Responsibility for the Publication Scheme

The Director of Corporate Services has overall responsibility for the Publication Scheme. The person responsible for maintaining the Publication Scheme is:

Paul Brigland
Departmental Records Officer
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square
London
SW1P 3DB

Email

We will also publish our responses to certain requests under FOI from the opening of the UKSC on 1 October 2009. We do not publish every request, only those that have a wider general interest. These are placed on the website and can be read or printed off as PDF files.

Guide to information

What information is available? Available information is grouped under seven 'classes of information':

  • who we are and what we do
  • what we spend and how we spend it
  • what are our priorities and how are we doing
  • how we make decisions
  • our policies and procedures
  • lists and registers
  • the service we offer.
How does the scheme work? Will I be charged for the information?

Information listed in the publication scheme is available on our website and in print. You can access information:

  1. On our website
    When the information is available on the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom's website a link will be provided. There is no charge for information available on the website, but the user would of course have to meet any charges by their internet service provider, personal printing, costs etc.). For those without internet access a single print on the website would be available by post, at the above contact address. However, requests for multiple print outs or for archived copies of documents which are no longer available on the web, will attract a charge for the cost of retrieval, photocopying, postage etc. We will contact you to let you know the cost of dealing with your request before we action it and this would be payable in advance.
  2. By email
    You can email a request to Paul Brigland including the words publication scheme in the subject heading. There is no charge for information which is provided electronically.
  3. 3. By post
    If you ask for information available on our website to be provided in paper format it may be necessary to make a charge. Each case is considered separately, for example, if a large amount of photocopying is required, or if the cost of postage of a large volume of paperwork is high. If that is the case we will contact you to let you know the cost of dealing with your request before we action it and this would be payable in advance.
  4. 4. In person at the UKSC
    Free of charge to view at the Court, but we will charge for photocopying for multiple prints.
How up to date is the information?

Most of the information included in our scheme will be current. However, for certain classes of information, it may be necessary to publish the information retrospectively.

How long is information kept?

We manage our information in accordance with our records retention and disposal schedule in order to ensure that we operate sound records management procedures. This means that some information will not be available indefinitely through the publication scheme but we are committed to providing the public with as much information as is practically possible. It is also important that the information we provide is relevant and up to date.

Is the information available in other languages?

Most of the information we provide is currently only available in English. Part of our website is available in Welsh translation as are the Court's forms.

Who we are and what we do
UKSC contact details:
  • General enquiries
    Tel: 020 7960 1900
    Email
  • Registry
    Tel: 020 7960 1900
    Email
  • Press Office
    Tel: 020 7960 1886
    Email
  • Freedom of Information and Data Protection enquiries
    Tel: 020 7960 1983
    Email
What we spend and how we spend it
  • Our current and past Supply Estimates contained in our Business Plans
  • Financial Accounts contained in our Annual Report and Accounts
  • Register of interests and expenses
  • Procurement policy and tendering procedures. A list of procurement contracts is available on request
  • Hospitality register (available on request)
What are our priorities and how are we doing
How we make decisions

Lists and registers

The services we offer

Requests for information under the Environmental Information Regulation(EIR)

If you wish to make a request for information under the Environmental Information Regulation (EIR) please write to:

Paul Brigland
Departmental Records Officer
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square
London
SW1P 3DB

Email

Requests for personal information: The Data Protection Act 1998 (DP Act)

You have a statutory right of access (certain exceptions apply) to personal data about yourself under the DP Act. The right of access here is to personal data held on computer or on structured manual files and you are entitled to be informed of any personal data concerning yourself being held by the UKSC and if so,

  • to be given a description of the data in question
  • to be told for what purposes the data is processed
  • to be told of the recipients or classes of recipients to whom the data are, or may be disclosed.

You are also entitled to be given a copy of the information with any unintelligible terms explained and to be given any information available to UKSC as to the source of the data. The FOI Act extends this right to personal data held on any type of file. If you wish to apply for access to your personal data known as a "subject access request", you should write to Paul Brigland whose contact details are given above.

Requests for access to personal data must be dealt with promptly and in any event within 40 days of receipt of sufficient information to be able to trace the data requested. We may charge a fee, not exceeding £10.00. It is our policy to charge a £10 fee.

However, if your personal data is filed with or placed in the custody of the UKSC for the purposes of proceedings or created by the UKSC, or a member of the administrative staff of the UKSC for the purposes of proceedings the exemption under section 34 of the DP Act applies. To access such information you should make an application under Rule 39(3) which provides for documents held by the Court to be inspected on formal application to the Registrar by completing Form 2 for which a fee is payable. There are additional charges for photocopies of documents.

Copyright

The material listed in this Publication Scheme is covered by Crown copyright unless otherwise stated. You may re-use the Crown copyright protected material (not including the Royal Arms and other departmental logos) free of charge in any format for noncommercial research, private study or internal circulation within your organisation. The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and you must give the title of the source document/publication.

For further information on Crown copyright policy and licensing arrangements, see the guidance featured on The National Archives website at: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/information-management/guidance/c.htm Comments and complaints about the Publication Scheme If you have any comments about our Publication Scheme, or if you think we have not supplied information in accordance with our scheme, then you should write, in the first instance to:

William Arnold
Director of Corporate Services
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square
London
SW1P 3DB

Email

This scheme was reviewed and revised in July 2011.

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FOI responses

We publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests which are of general public interest.

Please click on the following link to view responses.

FOI responses to queries received via Twitter