WITNESS BUNDLES: TAKE THEM AWAY AT THE END OF THE TRIAL – OR ELSE

This has been a week dominated by bundles. To end the week the Bar Council has sent out a joint notice from HMCTS on removal of court bundles. This provides a major incentive to ensure that bundles are, in fact, copied double sided.  Counsel travelling to far flung courts, overloaded with papers and luggage, may now have the responsibility of ensuring the bundles are removed.

THE NOTICE

“HMCTS advises that following discussion between the Bar Council, the Law Society and HMCTS it has been agreed that the parties’ copies of court bundles and papers, and papers and copies of documents provided for the use of witnesses, i.e. not those that have previously been filed with or supplied for the exclusive use of the court, are the sole responsibility of those parties’ representatives as data controllers. As data controllers you are required to make the necessary arrangements to remove them immediately following the end of your court hearing.
HMCTS and its staff are not responsible for the safe storage, transport or destruction of these bundles and/or papers.
If bundles and papers containing special category (formerly sensitive) personal data are left unattended or unsecured in the court or court building then HMCTS may consider it necessary to report that a personal data breach has occurred pursuant to the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.
The Bar Council and the Law Society endorse the contents of this notice.”