Skip to the content

National Archives unveils court judgements service


Mark Say Managing Editor

Get UKAuthority News


Scales of justice sculpture
Image source:

The National Archives (TNA) has launched an online service on court decisions on its website.

Named Finding Case Law, it will cover new decisions from the superior courts of record – The Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, and Upper Tribunals – and is available for anyone to use.

The move responds to recommendations made by The Legal Education Foundation in its Digital Justice Report and a commitment by the Ministry of Justice to standardise its approach to the publication of judgments.

Justice Minister James Cartlidge, said: “As we continue to build a justice system that works for all, the National Archive’s new service is a vital step towards better transparency. It will ensure court judgments are easily accessible to anyone who needs them.

“Our first official Government record of judgments is a modern one-stop-shop that will benefit everyone, from lawyers and judges to academics, journalists and members of the public.”

Hugely significant

Dr Natalie Byrom, director of research at The Legal Education Foundation, said: “The launch of the new judgments service at The National Archives is a hugely significant step for open justice. For the first time, the retention and preservation of judgments from courts and tribunals in England and Wales is guaranteed under primary legislation, as is the right for the public to obtain access to these documents.

“The investment in modernising the processes whereby judgments from courts and tribunals reach publication puts in place the infrastructure needed to build towards a complete record- something which is vital for research and policy.

“We are excited and encouraged by the progress made to date and look forward to seeing how the service develops over coming weeks and months.”

TNA said the scope of rulings included in the service will grow over time as it migrates and acquires legacy judgement and tribunal decisions. For now the BAILII website, run by the British and Irish Legal Information Institute, will continue to provide access to English and Welsh judgements

Access to the information is free under the Open Justice licence, but any re-use requires an application to TNA.



Register For Alerts

Keep informed - Get the latest news about the use of technology, digital & data for the public good in your inbox from UKAuthority.