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Court Transcripts

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which groups receive transcripts of court proceedings as a matter of course; and if she will make a statement. (76780)

No group receives transcripts of court proceedings as a matter of course. However, transcripts are provided on request subject to payment of the appropriate transcription fees and, where necessary, subject to the necessary permission being granted by the court. In addition, transcripts are provided to the Court of Appeal in any case where appeal proceedings have been initiated.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether judges have the power to order that transcripts of court proceedings be given, free of charge, to parties other than those that normally receive them as a matter of course. (76876)

There is no statutory provision that empowers judges in the Crown court to make such an order. However, transcripts are provided on request subject to payment of the appropriate transcription fees and, where necessary, subject to permission being granted by the court. Transcripts of proceedings in the Crown court are provided free of charge to any party that has been granted a right to representation by the Criminal Defence Service for the purposes of appeal proceedings. In civil proceedings, if a party to the action requires a transcript then one will be provided upon payment of the appropriate transcription charges. Under provisions in the Civil Procedure Rules an unrepresented appellant who is in difficult financial circumstances may make a request to the judge that the cost of a transcript be borne at public expense. Parties other than those to the proceedings are required to make an application to the judge for a transcript and pay the appropriate transcription fees.