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Behind closed doors

The basic principle is that hearings in courts are public. This principle is protected in the constitution and is an important complement to the general freedom of information.

In some cases, though, a court may make decisions behind closed doors, also known as “in camera”. This means that the public is not admitted to all or parts of the trial. It is clearly stated in the law when a court may order a hearing in camera. Circumstances include trials of certain types of case where confidential information of various kinds is presented, such as sensitive information about individuals’ personal matters in sexual offence cases. Another example is court proceedings for the issue of a warrant, when there is a need to protect the interest of the investigation or the prosecution of criminal offences. A court’s judgements and decisions are generally public, however.

Senast ändrad: 2012-05-30