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Court Records

Guidance on the use of FOISA section 37

Information will be exempt from disclosure under section 37 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) if it is contained in a document which has been:

  • lodged with a court for the purposes of court proceedings (section 37(1)(a)(i));
  • served on, or by, a Scottish public authority for the purposes of court proceedings (section 37(1)(a)(ii));
  • created by a court for the purposes of court proceedings (section 37(1)(a)(iii));
  • lodged with a person conducting an inquiry or arbitration, for the purposes of that inquiry or arbitration (section 37(1)(b)(i)); or
  • created by a person conducting an inquiry or arbitration, for the purposes of that inquiry or arbitration (section 37(1)(b)(ii));
  • AND in all of these cases, a Scottish public authority holds the information only because it is contained in such a document.

The exemptions in section 37 are absolute. This means that the public authority responding to the request doesn't need to go on to apply the public interest test.

The exemptions in section 37 don't last forever. In general, they can't be applied to information that is more than 15 years old.

It is important to be familiar with the terms used in this briefing - these are set out in the Glossary and abbreviations section of the document below.


Download the briefing

Section 37 exemption briefing


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