By Owen O’Sullivan, Richard Breen, Lisa Carty

One of the many implications of the new Data Protection Act 2018 is that pursuant to section 159 of the Act the rules of the courts (at all levels) have been changed to allow access to court records for bona fide members of the press or broadcast media.

Although the media have always had the right to report on what was said in open court (subject to the in camera rule and other exceptions) – via the Constitutional imperative in Article 34.1 that requires justice to be administered in public – there had been no formal mechanism for access to documents referred to in open court.