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Our privacy notice

Our privacy notice



The Supreme Court is the data controller for all of your personal data that is held by the Court. We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal data.

This privacy notice will inform you as to how we look after your personal data when we are performing our necessary functions or when you contact us. This includes online channels.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the data protection officer (DPO) using the details set out below.

Contact details

Data Protection Officer

Paul Sandles

Email address

The Supreme Court address can be found on this website.

You have the right to make a complaint regarding data protection and the Court at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO, so please contact us in the first instance.

Here are the contact details for the Information Commissioner's Office, on their website.

Changes to the privacy notice and your duty to inform us of changes

This version was last updated on 2 March 2020.

It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.

Third party links

This website may include links to third party websites. Clicking on those links may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements.

The data we collect about you

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together as follows:

  • Identity data includes first name, maiden name, last name, username or similar identifier, marital status, title, date of birth, gender, as well as images recorded on CCTV
  • Contact data includes billing address, delivery address, email address and telephone numbers
  • Financial and transaction data includes bank account and payment card details as well as details about payments to and from you
  • Technical and usage data includes internet protocol (IP) address, your login data, browser type and version, time zone setting and location, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform and other technology on the devices you use to access this website. It includes information about how you use our website
  • Communications data includes your communications preferences in receiving updates from us

Our services are not designed for, or intentionally targeted at, children 13 years of age or younger. We do not intentionally collect or maintain data about anyone under the age of 13.

If you fail to provide personal data

Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you.

How is your personal data collected?

We use different methods to collect data from and about you, including through:

Direct interactions

You may give us your identity, contact and financial data by filling in forms or by corresponding with us by post, phone, email or otherwise. This includes personal data you provide when you:

  • Complete court forms or supply other documents in relation to court proceedings
  • Request communication updates to be sent to you
  • Enter a competition or survey or
  • Give us some feedback or contact us for another specific purpose

Automated technologies or interactions

  • As you interact with our website, we may automatically collect technical data about your equipment, browsing actions and patterns
  • We collect this personal data by using cookies, and other similar technologies
  • Visitors to the building should also note that CCTV footage is used throughout the building, including within the courtrooms

Third parties or publicly available sources

  • We may receive personal data about you from various third parties and public sources

How we use your personal data

We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:

  • Where we need to perform the contract we are about to enter into or have entered into with you
  • Where it is necessary for our legitimate interests and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests
  • Where we need to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation or we are acting in the exercise of official authority

Purposes for which we will use your personal data

We have set out below a description of how we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.

Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please contact us if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.

Purpose/Activity Type of data Lawful basis for processing including basis of legitimate interest
To produce an accurate record for the purposes of Court proceedings

(a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Financial and Transaction
(a) Performance of a public task

(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to recover debts due to us)
To administer and protect our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data) (a) Identity

(b) Contact

(c) Technical
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our service, provision of administration and IT services, network security and to prevent fraud)

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
Use of CCTV throughout the building and in its immediate vicinity as well as broadcast filming in Court (a) Identity (a) Performance of a public task (to preserve records of court proceedings)

(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to ensure public safety)
To use data analytics to improve our website and our services (a) Technical and Usage Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our website updated and relevant, and to develop our services)
Distribution of information regarding Court activities via email (a) Communications (a) Performance of a public task

(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests

(for the purposes of ensuring timely and accurate reporting of Court proceedings)
To enable us to process job applications for vacancies within the Court's administrative staff (a) Identity

(b) Contact
(a) Performance of a public task

(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation

Job applicants, current and former employees

  • All of the information you provide during the job application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary. We will not share any of the information you provide during the recruitment process with any third parties for marketing purposes or store any of your information outside of the European Economic Area
  • The information you provide will be held securely by us and/or our data processors whether the information is in electronic or physical format. We will use the contact details you provide to us to contact you to progress your application. We will use the other information you provide to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for
  • We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary. The information we ask for is used to assess your suitability for employment. You don't have to provide what we ask for but it might affect your application if you don't. We will ask you for your personal details including name and contact details. We will also ask you about your previous experience, education, referees and for answers to questions relevant to the role you have applied for. Our human resources team will have access to all of this information
  • You will also be asked to provide equal opportunities information. This is not mandatory information - if you don't provide it, it will not affect your application. This information will not be made available to any staff outside of our human resources team in a way which can identify you. Any information you do provide, will be used only to produce and monitor equal opportunities statistics
  • If you are unsuccessful following assessment for the position you have applied for, we may ask if you would like your details to be retained for a period of six months. If you say yes, we would proactively contact you should any further suitable vacancies arise
  • If we make a conditional offer of employment we will ask you for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks to progress to a final offer. We are required to confirm the identity of our staff, their right to work in the United Kingdom and seek assurance as to their trustworthiness, integrity and reliability

You will therefore be required to provide:

  • Proof of your identity - you will be asked to supply original documents and we will take copies
  • Proof of your qualifications - you will be asked to supply original documents and we will take copies
  • You will be asked to complete a security declaration and declare any spent or unspent convictions
  • We will contact your referees, using the details you provide in your application, directly to obtain references
  • We will also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your health. This is to establish your fitness to work. This is done through a data processor (please see below)

If we make a final offer, we will also ask you for the following

  • Bank details - to process salary payments
  • Emergency contact details - so we know who to contact in case you have an emergency at work
  • Membership of a Civil Service Pension scheme - so we can send you a questionnaire to determine whether you are eligible to re-join/link to your previous scheme
  • Security checks - all roles at the Supreme Court require a high level of security clearance. Successful candidates will be asked to submit information via the National Security Vetting Solution Internet Portal (NSVS). NSVS and the JCPC will be the data controllers for this information
  • Code of Conduct - our Code of Conduct requires all staff to declare if they have any potential conflicts of interest, or if they are active within a political party. If you make a declaration, the information will be held on your personnel file with the human resources team
  • Other data processors - the Supreme Court may from time to time need to use other data processors to help support any recruitment process. Any data collected will be used strictly for the purpose of recruitment and will not be given to any other third party
  • We will usually advertise the annual judicial assistants' recruitment campaign through Hays Recruitment. Hays will collect the application information and might ask you to complete a work preference questionnaire which is used to assess your suitability for the role you have applied for. The results of which are assessed by recruiters. Information collected by Hays will be retained on their system for 12 months following the end of a recruitment campaign. Here is a link to their privacy notice

How long is the information retained for?

If you are successful, the information you provide during the application process will be retained by us as part of your employee file for the duration of your employment plus six years following the end of your employment. This includes your application, fitness to work, records of any security checks and references.

If you are unsuccessful at any stage of the process, the information you have provided until that point will be retained for six months from the closure of the campaign. The exception to this is with the judicial assistants' campaign where information will be retained for 12 months. Information generated throughout the assessment process, for example interview notes, is retained by us for six months (12 months for judicial assistants) following the closure of the campaign.

Equal opportunities information is retained for six months (12 months for judicial assistants) following the closure of the campaign whether you are successful or not.


We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising. You will receive communications from us if you have requested information from us or if you provided us with your details when you entered a competition.

Opting out

You can ask us to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by contacting us at any time.


If you are a user with general public and anonymous access, the Supreme Court website does not store or capture personal information but merely logs the user's IP address that is automatically recognised by the web server.

The system may record your email address and other information if volunteered to us by you. This shall be treated as proprietary and confidential. It may be used for internal review and to notify you about updates to the Supreme Court website.

A cookie is a small piece of data (which often includes a unique identifier) that is stored on your computer, mobile phone or tablet. It is generated when users access a certain website. The cookie is stored on your browser and then sent back to the originating website on each subsequent visit.

Cookies that are generated through the use of this website are not used to identify you personally. Cookies are used to improve the quality of your website experience by:

  • Enabling a service to recognise your device so that you do not have to repeat any unnecessary actions
  • Measuring how many people are using our website services, and from where in the world they visit us. This enables us to tailor content more closely to the profile of our users

Cookies might also be used occasionally to help gather feedback to help us understand how users interact with specific services, to inform future website development plans.

Further information on how Government websites use cookies can be found on the GOV.UK website.

If you wish to control, block or delete any cookies which are generated by this website, or indeed any other website, you can do so through your browser settings. The "help" function on your browser will provide relevant instructions.

Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of our website.

Change of purpose for data collection

Your personal data will only be used for another purpose if it is considered necessary and is still compatible with the original purpose of collection. We will be happy to explain this further if you contact us.

If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.

Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.

Disclosures of your personal data

We may have to share your personal data with third parties. We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law.

We do not allow our third party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

International transfers

We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used, accessed, altered or disclosed in an unauthorised way. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach.

Data retention

We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for. This includes for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.

To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider a number of factors:

  • The amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data
  • The potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data
  • The purposes for which we process your personal data
  • Whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

Your legal rights

Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. You have the right to the following.

Request access to your personal data

Request access to your personal data, commonly known as a data subject access request. This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.

Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you

This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.

Request erasure of your personal data

This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data:

  • Where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing, see below
  • Where we may have processed your information unlawfully
  • Where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law

Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.

Object to processing

Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest or those of a third party on the grounds you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms.

You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.

Request restriction of processing of your personal data

This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios:

  • If you want us to establish the data's accuracy
  • Where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it
  • Where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims
  • You have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it

Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party

We will provide your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format to you or a third party you have chosen. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.

However, if your personal data is filed with or placed in the custody of the Supreme Court for the purposes of court proceedings or created by ourselves for the purposes of court proceedings, the exemptions under Schedule 2 Part 2 para.14 of the Data Protection Act 2018 apply.

To access such information, you should make an application under Rule 39(3). This provides for documents held by the Court to be inspected on formal application to the Registrar by completing Form Two 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.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please Contact us.

No fee usually required

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data or to exercise any of the other rights. However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.

What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data or to exercise any of your other rights. This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.

Time limit to respond

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.