Conflict related court records
PRONI holds the records of many conflict related court cases. Each year people write to PRONI seeking access to these court files.
From 28 October 2022, PRONI will be temporarily suspending responses to Freedom of Information and the Court Files Privileged Access Rules requests.
The temporary suspension applies to all transferred closed public records held by PRONI.
PRONI will be able to conduct an initial search to confirm information relevant to your request is held. If PRONI does not hold the information or record you requested, PRONI will confirm this. If the record is already designated as open you will be able to view it onsite or request a copy. PRONI may be able to direct you to other records held in The National Archives, London or National Archives of Ireland, Dublin.
Applicants who have already submitted a request do not need to make a new request when the temporary suspension ends. PRONI will progress those requests which it has received under FOIA.
If you wish to make a complaint about the temporary suspension of FOIA requests, contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
Information you need to provide
PRONI holds the records of many conflict related court cases. However, PRONI doesn't have all court records about the conflict.
To find out if PRONI has the record of a particular court case, email or write to PRONI and include the name or names of the accused.
It is helpful if you also include the dates of the case and the court in which it was heard.
Apply for access to court records
PRONI considers requests for access to information under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and the Court Files Privileged Access Rules (NI) 2016. Applicants can decide which process is most suited to their needs.
Records under Court Files Privileged Access Rules (NI) 2016
Relatives can contact PRONI to find out if it has a particular court record. The process under the 2016 Rules allows individuals privileged access to information in court files provided they sign an undertaking that they will keep the released files confidential. Applicants can either request access to information themselves, or they can appoint a legal representative or charity to receive the information on their behalf.
Any individual who has been affected by the conflict or by another incident recorded in any court file held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland may apply for access under the 2016 Rules. Individuals applying for access to court records under the Court Files Privileged Access Rules (NI) 2016 should complete the application form. The guidance notes will help you to complete your form.
Applicants represented by a legal representative or charity
An eligible applicant may also appoint a legal representative, or nominate an employee of a charity to receive the information on their behalf. Lawyers or charities who are applying on behalf of an applicant for access to court records under Court Files Privileged Access Rules (NI) should complete the application form. The guidance notes will help you to complete the form.
The Court Files Privileged Access Rules (Northern Ireland) 2016 are available at the following link:
Records under Freedom of Information Act 2000
Applications can be made for access to court records under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. If you apply for a court record under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the version of the record which is given to you will also be available for other people to see.
To make an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 contact PRONI in writing or by e-mail.
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
2 Titanic Boulevard
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: (+44) 028 9053 4800