Earlier judgments and some sensitive later judgments will not be available to unregistered users. These restricted judgments (RUJ) will be held in a secure area only to be accessed by those registered users authorised to do so.
Generally speaking access to the Restricted Area will be granted only to
- registered law firms
- local media
- law tutors
- law enforcement agencies
- some government departments (where the JLIB Executive Group have explicitly authorised access).
However if a litigant in person requires a particular judgment and is prevented from accessing it on the website, an on-screen message will invite the user to apply to the Judicial Greffe in Jersey for permission to view. The Judicial Greffe will assess the need and, if permission is granted, will invite the applicant to view a hard copy version on Judicial Greffe premises. At no time will the applicant be allowed to retain a Restricted area judgment, and the decision of the Judicial Greffe is final.
The categories that will be filed in the Restricted Area in future will be
- Any Public Law Case involving under 18s
- Any private Family Law involving under 18s
- Adoption cases
- Sexual assault cases where there is a perceived risk that the victim could be identified
Contents of the Restricted Area
All pre-1998 UJs will be going into the Restricted Area as they are scanned documents, not redacted and there are no resources to carry out this task.
1998 - 2008 UJs were partially redacted so whether or not they go into the Restricted Area depends on the degree of redaction; some are anonymised but still have identifiable features e.g.. initials, name of school, family members, etc. Again the resources needed to carry out further redaction are not available and so we will err on the side of caution, placing the following categories into the Restricted Area –
- Any private Family Law case involving children under 18
- Any Public Law Children cases
- Any criminal youth case in the Royal Court involving under 18s, including Youth and Magistrates Court appeals, breaches of Probation, Community Services orders, etc.
- Any criminal case where there are adult defendants and minors appearing on the same judgment.
- Any sexual assault cases where adult victims or witnesses could be identified
Post 2008 has been wholly redacted, unless the degree of anonymisation required would render the Judgment meaningless, in which case the UJ will go into the Restricted Area, but there will be fewer Restricted UJs from this date on as the general rule will be for justice to be public, the defendant to be named and the case to be in the open access area.
The rationale behind the decision to put all judgments in Public Law Children cases in the Restricted Area is that Jersey is a small community and even redacted items can give clues to the identity of families, e.g. Number of children, hospitals attended, dates, etc. It was the area that the Data Protection Commissioner felt most strongly could damage the long-term work being done with families by the Children’s Service, and it was agreed that these judgments would never be on open access.