Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you are entitled to obtain 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 SCTS holds a range of personal data as a part of its core purposes. for example, personal data may be contained within court or tribunal case papers and some of this information may be retained by the SCTS as a part of the nation’s records. 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 the “how to make a request” section below) under the Data Protection Act. However, some limitations do apply.
Personal information about other people
For example, personal data might not be disclosed if release 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 and each decision will be made on a case by case basis and explained to you.
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 SCTS website, or you can obtain a hard copy by writing to the address below.
The form must be completed and signed (digital signature is acceptable) and it is generally best to explain the information you hope to obtain: this will allow us to focus any search to the most relevant information. To help establish your identity, photocopies of TWO official documents must accompany your application, which between them clearly show:
- your name
- your date of birth
- your 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 and Tribunals Service
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the request has been validated, it shall then be sent to the appropriate court, tribunal 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. It is the current policy of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals 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 and Tribunals Service.
If you consider that a request 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 SCTS has complied with the 1998 Act
- issue enforcement proceedings if satisfied that SCTS 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