We are happy to deal with subject access requests. We will normally charge £10.00, and a request (SAR) should be accompanied by a cheque for £10.00 payable to Mr D Swarbrick and sent to swarb.co.uk at 10 Halifax Road, Brighouse HD6 2AG UK. No particular formality is required, but the more information you provide the easier will be our task.
We will do our best, but it may help if you first take the trouble understand the kinds of things we do in fact hold.
We aim to set out and index judgments of courts and tribunals which may be of use to professional lawyers, academic lawyers and to litigants.
We hold a database off-line which indexes over 400,000 cases. As cases are readied for publication, they come online at www.swarb.co.uk. At the present moment (November 2016) some 130,000 cases are available on that website. Please note that we do not, save in a very few older cases hold the judgments or court papers.
Very often, the summary on the web-site will include links and references to external resources. Generally, we will hold no further information than is shown. What we have you can see. We do not hold people’s address or contact details, or any factual details beyond those in the summary. This may occasionally not be correct where a case has been updated or edited and is in the queue of cases awaiting updating online.
Cases are sometimes fully anonymised by the courts before they are released for publication. We try to respect that anonymisation, and indeed we have no access to any information beyond that released by the courts. Our own analysis and research is directed to identifying other instances of the case reports, and cases which have cited the case at issue. This will mean that we may indeed hold information as to a case in which an individual was a party, but at the same time have no method available to us to test whether a case, anonymised, semi-anonymised or not, is related to any particular person.
Even where a case is not fully anonymised by the court parties are usually referred to only by a surname. This means that quite often we are simply unable reliably to say whether the person making the Subject Access Request is indeed one of the parties. This becomes substantially more difficult as a name becomes more common. If we only know that a case involved someone called ‘Smith’, even the addition of first names will not help us find cases for a particular individual.
In principle, all the information we hold, subject to double checking, is for eventual publication, and we can often simply answer the SAR by promoting cases not yet analysed for publication.
It should be noted that we often remove first names from the case names we hold. Courts and tribunals will often use the first names where we do not. Some do slip through, and we are usually willing to remove identifiers over and above a surname. Additionally, an SAR will sometimes lead us to duble check our entries and to make consequential amendments. Commonly, for example cases are published by the courts and then later withdrawn. Where we find that to be the case, then unless we do have further information about the matters covered,
There may remain other issues you might have, and we have a separate guide if you wish to raise questions over and above particularly as to the question of whether such information should be published and our general approach to questions raised by individuals about these cases.
Given the purpose of the site, we tend not ourselves to hold more information about any case than we need in order to establish the legal points discussed. Often some of the factual background is necessary in order to understand the legal points discussed.
In the nature of our interests, a large number of those cases are historic, stretching back to 1024AD. We estimate that a third of our cases, at the very least, refer to parties who are not now alive.
We are of course registered with the Information Commissioner.