Access to Court Records

Here’s what the SCC has to say about access to court records:

The relevant fees for obtaining copies of documents are $0.50 per page plus $5 for consulting a closed file. A case file is considered closed as soon as the judgment is rendered. Copies of documents are mailed within 48 hours of the receipt of the cheque.

This may be changing where factums are concerned, as noted by SLAWers, who seem to think that there are not good legal or pratical reasons to restrict access. In my opinion, the practice of allowing court recorders to control the sale of transcripts (if I’m not wrong about that), and allowing courtroom artists to retain copyright in their works is unwarranted, given that their works are produced in the course of their employment, as S. 13(3) outlines:

Where the author of a work was in the employment of some other person under a contract of service or apprenticeship and the work was made in the course of his employment by that person, the person by whom the author was employed shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright…


  1. >

    I have to disagree with you on this one. Traditionally, even if the artist was going to display the sketch on Tv, all of the other rights traditionally rested with the artist. I think that there is true creativity involved here.

    Court reporters, transcribing other’s words, are a different matter, but their control over their work is surely contractual rather than copyright-based.

  2. Really? I thought the degree of creativity had nothing to do with it, if you’re working for someone else – but not that I’m going to argue a legal point with you :-)