Champions of open justice

16 November, 2022 | 1 minute read

Spotlight works hard to make sure that the courts are as transparent as possible so that the public can understand and scrutinise how effectively the justice system is operating.

We diligently monitor corruption cases across a range of courts – regularly attending hearings, collecting court documents, and making numerous successful open justice applications, including challenging anonymity orders. Our unique court monitoring programme is the bedrock of our work, and we use the information we gather as the evidence base for our analysis of how enforcement works in the UK. 

We worked with partners to get the government to commit to more ambitious proposals on open justice as part of the Open Government Partnership, which contributed to the government launching a central public registry of court judgments at the National Archives. Our calls for better access to court documents, enhanced case listing information, and continued investment to improve remote access to hearings were taken up by the Justice Committee in their November 2022 report “Open justice: court reporting in the digital age”.

We helped set up the new Courts and Tribunals Observers’ Network to strengthen the collective voice of civil society on open justice issues, and continue to act as a core advisor to the Network. This work has included contributing to a collective response to the recent MOJ consultation on open justice and coordinating a joint letter to the Lady Chief Justice about inaccurate HM Courts & Tribunal Service guidance on public access to court hearings and information which has now undergone corrections.

This case study is taken from our 2022-23 Impact Report which can be downloaded here.