Freedom of Information
SCS Publication Scheme
Under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 any person can make a request to the Scottish Courts Service to have access to information, unless that information is exempt.
The Scottish Courts Service is required to publish and maintain a publication scheme which gives details of the range of information that we routinely publish. It also provides details of how you can access this information, and tells you whether it is available free, or if there is a charge for it.
Scottish Court Service Publication Scheme 2012
Making a FOI enquiry
When writing to us to request information, please include your name and address, full details of the information you would like to receive. Please also include a telephone number so we can telephone you to clarify any details, if necessary.
Please note that courts, tribunals, their staff, tribunal members and judges are not designated public authorities so are not required to make information available in response to requests. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, as an independent statutory body, is a public authority in terms of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 but is only responsible for the administration - through support in the form of staff, buildings and technology - of tribunals and courts in Scotland. For example, court or tribunal documents as defined in the section 37 of the Act and discussed in the Scottish Information Commissioner's exemption briefing note on that section are exempt from release but may be available through other mechanisms, e.g. under the normal court procedures or by publication of certain court decisions on the SCS website.
The Freedom of Information Officer
Scottish Courts Service Headquarters
Saughton House - Spur N1
If you wish to seek a review of our handling of your request, you may wish to apply in writing for a review. Your request should provide details of why you wish a review to be carried out and should be made within 40 working days of receipt of our response (or the 20th working day after you submitted your request to:-
The Freedom of Information Officer
Scottish Court Service
Saughton House – Spur N1
Following that review should you still feel dissatisfied, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Scottish Information Commissioner at the following address:-
Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner
DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998
HOW TO ACCESS INFORMATION FROM SCOTTISH COURTS SERVICE (SCS)
Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to receive certain personal information which an organisation holds about you.
Subject to certain important exemptions, you are entitled:
- To be informed whether personal information about you is being processed by us
- To be given a description of any such information
- To be advised of the purposes for which that information is being processed and
- To be advised of the people to whom the information may be disclosed.
In addition, you are entitled to have the content of the information communicated to you and to be told of the source of the information, if known.
The SCS holds a range of personal data as a part of its core purposes. Personal data may, for example, be contained within court papers. If you require access to your own personal data held within court or tribunal case files, we can provide it to you if you make a subject access request (see how to make a request section below) under the Data Protection Act. However, you should note the following point:-
Personal Information about Other People
Personal information may not be disclosed where it could lead to the disclosure of personal information about another person who could be identified from that information. We are, however, obliged to provide as much of your personal data as it is possible to disclose without disclosing the data of another individual.
How to make a Request
You can request information which we may hold about you by making a subject access request. The application form is available to download from the SCS website, or you can obtain a hard copy by writing to the address below.
The form must be completed in ink and you should explain clearly what information you are looking for. To help establish your identity, copies of TWO official documents must accompany your application, which between them clearly show:
- Your name
- Your date of birth and
- Current address
For example, a photocopy of a driving licence, birth/adoption certificate, passport and any other official document that shows your name and address.
You should then submit the form and identification to:
The Data Protection Officer
Scottish Courts Service
Or e-mail to email@example.com
Once the request has been validated, it shall then be sent to the appropriate court or business unit to process.
Charging a Fee
The Data Protection Act provides that up to £10 may be charged as a fee for providing information to you. It is the current policy of the Scottish Courts Service to charge the maximum fee of £10. This can be paid at your local court or by sending a cheque or postal order in the sum of £10 made payable to Scottish Courts Service.
If you consider that a request by you for access to your personal data was not dealt with in accordance with the Data Protection Act, you may write to the UK Information Commissioner, who may do one of the following:
- Make an assessment as to whether it is likely or unlikely the SCS has complied with the 1998 Act
- Issue enforcement proceedings if he is satisfied that SCS has contravened one of the data protection principles
- Recommend that you apply to court alleging a failure to comply with the subject access provisions of the Act.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House Water Lane
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745