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Privacy Statement

Data Protection


This Privacy Statement aims to give you information on how the Courts Service collects and processes your personal data, including any data you may provide when you access this website, when you enquire about or utilise a service, through your dealings with our staff and when you report a problem with our website.

It is important that you read this Privacy Statement together with any other privacy policy or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This Privacy Statement supplements any other notices and is not intended to override them.

Who we are

 How to contact us

 The information we collect

 How we collect your personal data

 How we use this information

 How this information is shared

 Security and confidentiality

 Web browsing

 Your rights

Changes to this privacy statement

Right to lodge a complaint about the use of your personal information

Who we are

Throughout this document, 'we', 'us', 'our' and 'ours' refer to the Courts Service.

The Courts Service is responsible for the management and administration of the courts. The Service is not involved in the administration of justice which is a matter for the courts and the judiciary, who, subject only to the Constitution and the law, are independent in the exercise of their judicial functions. The conduct of and decisions made in any court case are a matter entirely for the presiding judge and it is not open to the Courts Service to comment or intervene in any way in such matters.
Where your personal data is held as part of the court record, the role of the Courts Service is to process this data. 

How to contact us

The Courts Service has its principal address at Phoenix House, 15/24 Phoenix Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7.

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to data protection and this Privacy Statement. If you have any question about this Privacy Statement, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer using the details set out below.

Email address: dataprotection@courts.ie
Postal address: Data Protection Officer, Phoenix House, 15/24 Phoenix Street North, Smithfield, Dublin 7, Ireland.

The information we collect

Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).

We may collect and process the following personal data relating to you:

♦  Identity and contact data, including your name, address, telephone number, date of birth, marital status, passport number, employment history, educational or professional background, PPSN, job title and function and other personal data concerning your preferences relevant to our services;

♦  Financial and payment data, including your bank account and other data necessary for processing payments and fraud prevention, including credit/debit card numbers, security code numbers and other related payment and billing information;

♦  Business information, including information provided during the contractual or client relationship between you or your organisation and the Courts Service, or otherwise voluntarily provided by you or your organisation;

♦  Profile and usage data, including passwords to Courts Service websites or password protected platforms or services, your communication preferences and information about how you use our websites including the services you viewed or searched for, page response times, download errors, length of visits and page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs).

♦  Technical data, including information collected during your visits to our websites, the Internet Protocol (IP) address, login data, browser type and version, device type, time zone setting, browser plug-in types and versions, operating system and platform. 
Physical Access Data, relating to details of your visits to our premises where appropriate;

♦  Sensitive personal data: In the course of our services, there may be a requirement to collect and use sensitive personal information relating to you (for example, information about your racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union activities, physical or mental health, sexual life, or details of criminal offences, or genetic or biometric data).

How we collect your personal data

The circumstances in which we may collect personal data about you may include:

  • when you or your organisation seek or use Courts Service services or any of our online services;

  • when you or your organisation offer to provide, or provide, services to us;

  • when you correspond with us by phone, email or other electronic means, or in writing, or when you provide other information directly to us, including in conversation with our staff;

  • when you or your organisation browse, complete a form or make an enquiry or otherwise interact on our websites or other online platforms;

How we use this information

We may use your personal data only for the following purposes:

  • to administer and manage our relationship with you, including processing payments, accounting, auditing, billing and collection and taking other steps linked to the performance of our business relationship including identifying persons authorised to represent our clients, suppliers or service providers;

  • to fulfil our legal obligations; to manage the courts, support the judiciary and provide services to court users;

  • to carry out background checks, where permitted;

  • to comply with our legal obligations, including maintaining records, compliance checks or screening and recording;

  • to analyse and improve our services and communications and to monitor compliance with our policies and standards;

  • to manage access to our premises and for security purposes;

  • to protect the security of our communications and other systems and to prevent and detect security threats, frauds or other criminal or malicious activities;

  • for insurance purposes;

  • to process applications for employment;

  • to exercise or defend our legal rights, or to comply with court orders; and

  • for any other purposes related and/or ancillary to any of the above or any other purposes for which your personal data was provided to us.

We may process your personal data in connection with any of the purposes set out above or on one or more of the following legal grounds:

  • it is necessary for us to do so to perform your instructions or another contract with you or your organisation;

  • to comply with our legal obligations as well as to keep records of our compliance processes or tax records;

  • you have expressly given us your consent to process your personal data in that manner.

How this information is shared

We may share your personal data:

  • with government agencies and bodies where required by law or where appropriate, by consent;

  • with third parties including certain service providers we have retained in connection with the services we provide, such as barristers, consultants or experts; with other legal specialists such as law firms for obtaining specialist legal advice; with translators, couriers, or other necessary entities;

  • with courts, law enforcement authorities, regulators, government officials or other parties where it is reasonably necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of a legal or equitable claim, or for the purposes of a confidential alternative dispute resolution process;

  • with service providers engaged by us within or outside of the Courts Service, for example, shared service centres, to process personal data for any of the purposes listed above on our behalf and in accordance with our instructions only.

Security and confidentiality

♦  Approach

We endeavour to use appropriate technical and physical security measures to protect your personal data (which is transmitted, stored or otherwise processed by us) from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure, or access. Our service providers are also selected carefully and required to use appropriate protective measures.

When you contact us to ask about your information, we may ask you to identify yourself. This is to help protect your information.

♦  Limitations

As effective as modern security practices are, no physical or electronic security system is entirely secure. No data transmission over the Internet can be guaranteed to be 100% secure or confidential. Although we will do our best to protect your data, we cannot guarantee the security or confidentiality of your data transmitted to our site. Any transmission of data is at your own risk. Once we receive your data, we will use appropriate security measures to seek to prevent unauthorised access. We will continue to revise policies and implement additional security features as new technologies become available.

In the event that there is an interception or unauthorised access to your personal data, we will not be liable or responsible for any resulting misuse of your personal information.

♦  Safeguards

The Courts Service uses a variety of safeguards, personnel and processes that form defensive in depth barriers to protect your data. Some of the safeguards we use are firewalls and information access controls. The Courts Service continuously evaluates our security posture to further enhance the security and confidentiality of your data.

We have also put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

Web browsing

The Courts Service website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc. ('Google') . Google Analytics uses 'cookies', which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how users use the site.

If you consent to the use of cookies on this website, the information generated by the Google Analytics cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage.

Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google.

Your rights

You have various rights with respect to our use of your personal data.

♦  Access: You have the right to request a copy of the personal data that we hold about you. There are exceptions to this right, so that access may be denied if, for example, making the information available to you would reveal personal data about another person, or if we are legally prevented from disclosing such information. You are entitled to see the personal data held about you. If you wish to do this, please contact us using the contact details provided.

♦  Accuracy: We aim to keep your personal data accurate, current, and complete. We encourage you to contact us by emailing us at the contact details provided to let us know if any of your personal data is not accurate or has changed, so that we can keep your personal data up-to-date.

♦  Objecting: In certain circumstances, you also have the right to object to processing of your personal data and to ask us to block, erase and restrict your personal data. If you would like us to stop using your personal data, please contact us by emailing us at the contact details provided.

♦  Erasure: You have the right to erase your personal data when the personal data is no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected, or when, among other things, your personal data have been unlawfully processed.

♦  Court records:

Court records are under the control of the courts and not the Courts Service.

In the case of personal data processed by or on behalf of a court when acting in its judicial capacity, the data subject's rights and the obligations of the controller of that personal data as referred to in section 158(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018 are restricted to the extent that the restrictions are necessary and proportionate to safeguard judicial independence and court proceedings.

The following rules have been made under section 158(3) of the Data Protection Act 2018 for the purpose of ensuring the effective application of a restriction under section 158(1):

S.I. No. 658 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (Section 158(3)) Rules 2018.pdf

Persons wishing to have access to a court record in court proceedings to which they are a party should firstly make inquiries of the court office concerned.

The following rules apply to requests to access personal data contained in a court record by bona fide members of the press or broadcast media:

S.I. No. 660 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (S 159(7): Superior Courts) Rules 2018.pdf

S.I. No. 662 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (S 159(7): Circuit Court) Rules 2018.pdf

S.I. No. 664 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (S 159(7): District Court) Rules 2018.pdf

The following rules have been made governing the processing on behalf of a court of personal data controlled by that court when acting in its judicial capacity:

Processing of personal data contained in a record of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal or High Court
S.I. No. 659 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (Section 159(1)) Rules 2018.pdf

Processing of personal data contained in a record of the Circuit Court
S.I. No. 661 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (Section 159(2)) Rules 2018.pdf

Processing of personal data contained in a record of the District Court
S.I. No. 663 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (Section 159(3)) Rules 2018.pdf

Processing of personal data, other than a court record, controlled by a court when acting in its judicial capacity
S.I. No. 665 of 2018 Data Protection Act 2018 (Section 159(4)) Rules 2018.pdf

Changes to this privacy statement

We will make changes to this notice from time to time, particularly when we change how we use your information, and update our technology and products.

Right to lodge a complaint about the use of your personal information

If you have a complaint about the use of your personal information, please let a member of staff in your nearest Courts Service location know, giving them the opportunity to put things right as quickly as possible.

You can register a complaint with the Data Protection Officer in writing or by email. Please be assured that all complaints received will be fully investigated.

We ask that you supply as much information as possible to help our staff resolve your complaint quickly.

You can also contact the Data Protection Commission in Ireland at www.dataprotection.ie.