The Supreme Court has now made  its “publication scheme” under section 19 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”) available. This lists information under seven categories:  “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”. The scheme points out that there is no right of access under FOI  to information contained in court records as section 32 of FOIA gives an absolute exemption from disclosure of such information.

FOI Requests can be made to the Departmental Records Officer, Ann Achow.  Her email address is

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 (see Practice Direction 7) by completing Form 2 and a fee is payable. This fee appears to be £350 (although we may have misunderstood the Practice Direction). There are additional charges of £5 for up to 10 pages and 50p per additional page for photocopies of documents. The Registrar may refuse an application for reasons of commercial confidentiality, national security or in the public interest.

Our attention has been drawn to a Freedom of Information Act request to the UKSC from Paul Gaffney concerning the educational background of the Justices (and certain other information).  This awaits a response.  A request was also made about the provenance of the Court’s “motto” by a family justice campaigner (in fact UKSCBlog understands that the Court has no motto as such itself – the request relates to the Martin Luther King quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…”, which is just one of a number of judicial-oriented quotations featured prominently around the Supreme Court bulding).  Unfortunately, this request was made to the House of Lords which has (rightly) responded that it has no involvement in the running of the Court.   The Court has promised to put responses to significant FOIA requests on its website.

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