Guidance

Get access to HMCTS data

Access HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) data. For example to support academic research, or the development or evaluation of policy and services.

HMCTS open data catalogue

HMCTS is creating a catalogue of open data which can be used freely under the terms of the Open Government Licence. The first datasets available as part of the open data catalogue are HMCTS management information.

HMCTS management information

Data on workloads of criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals and how long it takes to deal with cases.

HMCTS monthly management information
HMCTS weekly management information during coronavirus outbreak
HMCTS weekly use of remote hearing technologies
User guide to HMCTS management information (PDF, 898KB)

Case records and survey data

You can apply to the Data Access Panel for access to :

  • case-level information - including hearing type, date and outcome
  • historical case records - case records from 20 years ago or more, selected for preservation in the National Archives
  • qualitative and quantitative data derived from surveys of court and tribunal users

How to apply to the Data Access Panel

Before you make a formal application, first send a summary of your proposal to dataaccesspanel@justice.gov.uk.

Include brief details of:

  • the purpose and scope of the research
  • which individuals and institutions would carry out the research, including any ONS research accreditation
  • any funding or ethics approvals you’ve got - or any approvals you need to get

When you’ve sent in your summary, the Data Access Services Team will contact you with feedback on the proposal. They will work with you to establish whether the proposal is practical and factually sound. And whether it duplicates existing research, or could be affected by imminent changes in the law. When this process is complete, you’ll be able to make a formal application to the Data Access Panel.

You can also contact dataaccesspanel@justice.gov.uk to ask whether HMCTS might provide a letter of support for funding applications.

After you’ve made a formal application to the Data Access Panel

The Data Access Panel will decide whether to approve your application, based on:

The Data Access Panel can refer requests it thinks are novel or contentious to the Senior Data Governance Panel.

We aim to process applications within 8 to 12 weeks. This can vary depending on the complexity of the request, and on whether there’s precedent for using the data in the way proposed.

If your application is approved, we’ll work with you to put in place the appropriate data governance (for example, a data sharing agreement). Then we’ll release the data to you.

Defendant level data

You can apply to access de-identified defendant level data through the Ministry of Justice Data First programme.

Court and tribunal records

You’ll need to apply to the relevant court or tribunal to access court or tribunal records. You can find the rules for accessing these records in:

Court and tribunal transcripts

All proceedings held in open court are recorded, except for Magistrates’ courts. You can request a court transcript. You’ll need to pay a fee.

Other sources of information about courts and tribunals

Court listings

CourtServe daily court listings

Court and tribunal decisions

Employment tribunal decisions
Tax and chancery tribunal decisions
Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) decisions
First Tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) decisions
Supreme court decisions
Criminal judgements and sentencing remarks

Research involving the judiciary

You can apply for the judiciary to participate in your research project.

Research and statistics on other parts of the justice system

Ministry of Justice official statistics
Conducting research on prisons or probation services

More about data at HMCTS

Read the HMCTS data strategy.

Published 17 June 2021