This Privacy Notice is issued by the Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands
This notice provides information about the processing of your personal data by the Courts when exercising their judicial functions under the Constitution and the law. It also explains how personal data is processed by or on behalf of the Courts as data controllers when acting in this judicial capacity.
For this purpose Courts include: the Court of Appeal, the Grand Court, the Summary Court and specialty courts like the Drug Treatment Court and the Coroners Court.
Contact details of Court offices are elsewhere on this judicial website and at the end of this Notice:
References to ‘data subjects’ are references to the individuals whose personal data is processed by the courts.
Processing means any activity of the Courts, in the exercise of a judicial function, relating to personal data such as collection, storage, adaptation, destruction, or other use. This includes, but is not limited to, taking notes during court hearings, drafting and having published judgments or orders. The judiciary process data consistently with data protection law as set out in the Data Protection Act (2021 Revision) (“the Act”) and the Data Protection Regulations 2018 (the “Regulations”) as amended or revised from time to time.
Personal data means information relating to a living individual who can be identified and include data such as —
- the living individual’s location data, online identifier or one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of the living individual;
- an expression of opinion about the living individual.
So personal data include, for instance, name, address, date of birth, email address and qualifications.
The Courts may also process personal data of the type known as sensitive personal data. This is information concerning an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic or biometric data, health data, or data concerning their sex life or sexual orientation.
Sensitive personal data include a data subject’s commission, or alleged commission, of an offence, or any proceedings for any offence and the disposal of any such proceedings or any sentence of a court in the Islands or elsewhere.
When may the Courts Process Personal Data and for What Purpose
The judiciary process personal data in court proceedings to fulfil its constitutional function of doing justice according to law and as a necessary duty to support the rule of law. The courts exercise a statutory and common law jurisdiction when necessary in the public interest in the administration of justice or by legal authority vested in them.
Schedules 2 and 3 of the Act authorize the Court Administration to process personal data when processing is necessary for the administration of justice or the exercise of any functions conferred on any person by or under any enactment. The Courts may process sensitive personal data when necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings.
The categories of personal data that are processed by the Courts depend on the nature of the proceedings concerned (for example: criminal or civil proceedings), the content of pleadings (for example: a bankruptcy petition or a guardianship application), of evidence and submissions made in those proceedings and other court documents lodged or filed.
Personal Data may be processed for a number of purposes, including: assessment of performance by the Courts of their judicial functions under the Constitution and law; purposes connected with the administration of justice, including the publication of judgments or orders or listing hearings in proceedings; and purposes connected with the efficient management and operation of the Courts and statistical analysis.
Processing for statistical analysis purposes will be subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure respect for the principle that such processing should be limited to what is directly relevant and necessary for the purpose. The Courts do not permit data held by them to be used by third parties for marketing or other commercial purposes although it is possible that information which the Courts are obliged to make public (as to which see further below) may be used by others for their commercial purposes. If this happens, it is without the consent of the Courts.
Sources of Personal Data
The Courts receive personal data in the context of court proceedings from a number of different sources. These sources include:
- Parties to proceedings or their legal advisors;
- A witness giving evidence
- A person who, though not a party to proceedings, is required to provide discovery; and
- Other publicly available information (for example from other reported cases).
The types of personal data received by the Courts, and the consequences of the provision of personal data or failure to provide such data, will depend on the general law, the rules of evidence and Court rules.
“Data controller” means the person who, alone or jointly with others determines the purposes, conditions and manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed.
Each court concerned is a data controller within the meaning of the Act, in respect of personal data processed by or for courts when acting in a judicial capacity.
Publication of Personal data
Personal data are exempt from the usual non-disclosure provisions if disclosure is required pursuant to legislation or Court order or necessary for the purpose of, in connection with, or in contemplation of any quasi- judicial or legal proceedings.
Personal data contained in a judgment or court order or, for example, a list of hearings, are generally made accessible to the public, in accordance with the constitutional requirement and the “open justice” principle that proceedings be generally held in public. This is necessary to enable individuals to understand their rights and obligations and the public to understand court proceedings, which is an aspect of the rule of law, and in the public interest. This requirement may be subject to necessary exceptions recognised in law.
Where personal data are open to access by the public pursuant to an enactment as part of a public register or otherwise (for example, documents on the judicial website) or available for purchase by the public in accordance with administrative procedures established for that purpose, that access must be obtained in accordance with the provisions of relevant enactment or administrative procedures.
Data Subject Rights
The legislation provides individuals ordinarily with rights concerning their personal information, such as the right to request a copy of information held by the organisation that has processed it. Those rights do not apply where the judiciary, exercising judicial functions or support staff acting on its behalf, processes personal data because this is necessary to protect judicial independence, safeguard court proceedings, and the integrity of the justice system. For the same reasons, the processing of personal data by an individual, a court or tribunal acting in a judicial capacity is excluded from the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman.
Right to information – the right to information regarding the processing of personal data by or on behalf of the courts is limited to such public information available in this general notice, or further or amending notices published on the judicial website on behalf of the Courts in their capacity as data controllers. The Freedom of Information legislation does not apply to judicial functions of a court or holders of judicial office.
Right of access – the right to request access to personal data contained in a court record is confined to the circumstances where statute or rules of court or the practice of the Court so permit. A data subject seeking access to material comprised in a court record should apply to the office of the Court concerned. A data subject seeking access to any part of a note or recording made of proceedings must make a formal application to the court concerned, subject to and in accordance with the procedure in the relevant rules or practice directions for the different court jurisdictions.
Right to rectification – the right to request rectification of personal data contained in a court record is confined to the circumstances in which a party to those proceedings could obtain rectification in accordance with rules of court. It may be exercised only by the means available to such party. There is generally no right to rectification if disclosure is required by any law, court order or is necessary in relation to legal proceedings.
A data subject seeking the rectification of allegedly inaccurate personal data contained in a judgment or order of the court may only do so by making formal application to the Court, subject to and in accordance with the procedure in the relevant rules of court.
Recipients of Data
Because of Constitutional rights and the “open justice” principle there can be generally no expectation of privacy in personal data that is processed by the judiciary exercising judicial functions.
Personal data that are contained in court records can be made available to people and organisations that are entitled or permitted to access court records in accordance with the “open justice” principle and subject to its limitations. For example:
- Parties to the relevant proceedings concerned and their legal representative;
- Other third parties for whose interest provision is made by legislation, court rules, or practice;
- Other Cayman Courts;
- Regulatory bodies;
- Members of the broadcast media that have sufficiently provided proof of their status for the purpose of facilitating the fair and accurate reporting of a hearing in the proceedings; and
- Members of the public. In accordance with the Constitution, proceedings are generally held in public save in such special and limited cases as may be prescribed by law. Information that is disclosed in a court will therefore be heard by those in attendance, including members of the broadcast media.
Court records may be transferred to the National Archives in accordance with the Act and are dealt with in the manner described below.
The Courts must engage third parties in order to operate effectively. They include the Cayman Islands Law Reports editors and service providers such as Information Technology service providers. These third parties will have access to personal data that is processed by the Courts in the provision of their services.
Transfers of Personal Data Overseas
The Courts may in certain circumstances where this is permitted by law (for example in matters of judicial co-operation and criminal justice mutual assistance) transfer or have transferred on their behalf personal data to another country. This will be by Cayman Court order. Thus personal data may also be shared with other courts and tribunals in other countries where this is necessary in relation to legal or regulatory proceedings, to further the administration of justice or to comply with, or to fulfil legal obligations.
Courts may, when necessary in the interests of the administration of justice, place restrictions on disclosure of personal data. For example, names may be redacted in judgments or orders. The Courts’ jurisdiction includes powers to protect children and other vulnerable persons. The balance of justice may require that confidentiality and privacy prevail over other factors. Thus the Courts may hold legal proceedings in private and place restrictions on access to court and tribunal files. Such decisions are judicial decisions and can only be taken within legal proceedings. Individuals wishing to raise objections or obtain access should seek legal advice.
If you wish to obtain access to personal information processed by the judiciary exercising judicial functions you may be able to do so under provisions set out in rules of court, such as the Grand Court Rules, Summary Court Rules, Children Act (Grand Court) Rules, Criminal Procedure Rules, Companies Winding Up Rules or Matrimonial Causes Rules. You should refer to the rules governing procedure in the relevant court.
Retention of Data
Personal data processed by or on behalf of courts are retained for as long as necessary to enable the courts to perform their functions under the Constitution and law, to ensure the administration of justice and to facilitate the efficient management and operation of the courts.
Personal data contained in court administrative records, which are “public records” for the purposes of the National Archives And Public Records Act (2015 Revision), are retained and preserved in accordance with that Act. In relation to Archival records as defined in the same Act, the National Archive will be the controller of the personal data contained in the retained records.
See the National Archive website for more information. http://www.cina.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/cnahome
Further Information about Data Protection and Freedom of Information
If you wish to receive further information about data protection law generally you can contact the Ombudsman at:
5th Floor, Anderson Square, 64 Shedden Road, George Town, Grand Cayman; PO Box 2252, Grand Cayman KY1-1107, Cayman Islands
Tel: +1 345 946 6283
You should be aware that where the judiciary is exercising judicial functions the Information Commissioner has no supervisory monitoring or enforcement authority.
If you have concerns about how your personal data was processed by the Courts or the judiciary acting in a judicial capacity you can contact the Court Administrator & Chief Officer (Building C).
Tel: (345) 244-3821, Fax: (345) 949-9856
Clerk of Courts (Building C)
Tel: (345) 244-3858, Fax: (345) 949-5968
Last Updated: November 29, 2021