Audio Recording Guidelines

Adapted from a Practice direction issued by the Lord Chief Justice, United Kingdom

1. These guidelines are issued in order to clarify the practice and procedure governing access to CD or Digital Audio recordings of court proceedings. They apply to criminal, civil and family proceedings in all courts in the Island of Jersey.

2. Where court proceedings, including judgments, are recorded by tape or other mechanical or digital means there is generally no right, either for a party or non-party, to listen to or receive a copy of such a recording. This is to minimise the risk of misuse of such recordings.

3. A written transcript of Court proceedings will be produced if required by any one of the parties for appeals or additional hearings connected to the same matter. A transcript will also be produced if requested by the sitting Judge.

4. A transcript will not be produced for anyone other than a party to Court proceedings or the presiding judge.

5. If a transcript is not available applications for permission to listen to, or receive a CD of an audio recording should be made to Judicial Greffier who will seek the permission of the presiding judge. The presiding judge will have particular regards to whether:

    1. the audio recording includes or may include privileged material between the advocate and his or her client(s);
    2. the court in which the proceedings were heard contains a facility for the judge to suspend recording of proceedings such as in the Royal Court or contains no such facility other than by direction to the Greffier, as in the Old Library.

6. Subject to paragraph 7, permission will only be granted in very exceptional circumstances.

7. Where, in very exceptional circumstances, a CD of proceedings is be provided to litigants in person this will be done following permission from the judge hearing the proceedings and under an Act of Court ordering that any onward transmission of the recording in any format will be considered a criminal contempt of court.

8. Where permission is granted it may be subject to such conditions as the Court considers necessary to protect recordings of confidential or legally privileged conversations between parties and their lawyers.

9. These guidelines are to be followed with immediate effect.

May 2016