· Written by

Do not record tribunal proceedings

Apparently people are doing this (particularly telephone CMDs). You really must not. It’s illegal.

s9 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 make recording court proceedings — which includes tribunal hearings — contempt of court, which is a criminal office. Worse case scenario, you can be jailed for up to 2 years or fined up to £2,500.

At a recent Employment Tribunal National User Group the President of the Employment Tribunals indicated that he takes this extremely seriously. People have been reported to the CPS.

I suspect that this is the sort of thing that, quite often, happens innocently. I can see why someone unfamiliar with s9 would think ‘It would be handy to have an accurate record of the tribunal’s orders from the CMD and I’ve got a dictaphone here, so…’

Similarly, you might think you should be permitted to record tribunal hearings. The rule is a policy question that people can disagree about.

But the current law is that recording is forbidden. It is contempt. And this is something that courts simply have no sense of humour about. So just don’t.

It is possible to ask permission to record a court hearing. So, if for some reason you want to, it might be worth asking. I suspect the reaction will depend on what you want to record and why. It might, in the right circumstances, be a reasonable adjustment.

3 comments

  1. Criona Courtney

    What if its a TCMD and call is made from a phone line where calls are recorded all of the time. Is this acceptable?

    • Michael

      No. It’s a criminal offence to record a TCMD, just as it is to record an in-person CMD.

      If you’re using a line where call are routinely recorded, you need to turn that off or use another line.

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>