6.1 Court information vs Ministry of Justice information

There is a significant difference between information held by the court (and tribunals in their judicial functions) and information held by the Ministry of Justice. Specific search rules govern access to information held by courts about court proceedings. The Official Information Act 1982 does not apply to information held by courts.

Information held by the Ministry of Justice is subject to requests under the Official Information Act 1982. This kind of information includes statistical information, policies and procedural matters.

Categories of information - Schedule 1 of the District Court Act 2016 and Schedule 2 of the Senior Courts Act 2016

Court Information





Formal court record

Any of the following kept in the registry of the court that relate to a criminal, civil, or family proceeding:

(a) a register or index:

(b) any published list that gives notice of a hearing:

(c) a document that -

     (i) may be accessed under an enactment other than this Act; or

    (ii) constitues notice of its content to the public:

(d) a judgement, order, or minute of the court, including any record of the reasons given by a Judge or other judicial officer

The permanent court record, as perscribed in rule 7.2(external link) of the Criminal Procedures Rules 2012 (as from time to time amended or replaced).



Court file

A collection of documents in the custody and control of the court that relate to criminal or civil proceedings (including family proceedings) for example, applications, submissions, and supporting affidavits, but excluding notes made by or for a judicial officer for his or her personal use


Information relating to particular cases

Information held by the Ministry of Justice in hard copy form, or on the Ministry’s data sets or databases, for the purpose of assisting with the management of court proceedings


Electronic records of hearings


Ministry of Justice information





Separate or collated administrative information and statistics taken primarily from case management systems to enable the ministry to efficiently budget, plan, and administer the court system

Includes information on the relative costs of proceedings, use of courtrooms, and deployment of court staff


Case-level information that is combined with Police, Corrections, and other government agency data to support policy formation, statistics, and research

Case-level information, where all personal identification details are removed to ensure that the identity of any individual cannot be derived from the published information or data


Information relating to court staff personnel matters



Aggregate information about judicial expenditure

Includes information relating to judicial travel


Information on operational matters

Includes information about court buildings, resources, support systems, and other operational matters


Information held by or on behalf of the Rules Committee



Statistics (counts, averages, trends, etc) and performance measures (to assess achievement against operating targets, etc) about court processes and case outcomes

Data that is extracted from case-level transactions, where all personal identification details are removed and outputs are checked to ensure that the identity of any individual cannot be derived from the published data


Correspondence and other information relating to liaison between the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice about the management and administration of judicial matters



Minutes of joint committee meetings of the judiciary at which representatives of the ministry are present


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