Non-party disclosure under Civil Procedure Rules (CPR31.17)
If civil proceedings have commenced and you are directly involved in those proceedings, you can apply to the court for a non-party disclosure order. This type of court order is typically used to compel parties who are not involved in the civil claim, to disclose information they hold that either supports your case or adversely affect the case of the other side.
Non-party disclosure orders are made under CPR 31.17 and can be used to request the disclosure of any information deemed relevant to the civil proceedings.
HSE must have proof that civil proceedings have commenced before it will begin to consider a non-party disclosure order. Where you require information to support an ongoing civil claim, we would encourage you or your representative to provide HSE with advanced notice of your application under CPR 31.17. This is likely to help prevent delays in processing your request.
HSE suggest using this Draft Non-party Disclosure Order. Failure to use the terms of the draft order may lead to objections, possible additional costs and delay to your application.
On receipt of a sealed claim form and a copy of the draft court order, HSE will:
- Locate and retrieve the information that is deemed within the scope of the order
- Compile a document schedule to confirm what records were requested, and what records HSE holds
- Conduct a Public Interest Immunity assessment to determine whether any documents should be withheld in the broader public interest
Once your order has been approved by the court (ie it has the court seal), you should then send a scanned copy to [email protected]. Alternatively, you can send the sealed order to the following address ensuring you use recorded delivery:
Central Disclosure Team
5N3 Redgrave Court
On receipt of the sealed court order, HSE will disclose the document schedule and all records deemed disclosable following our public interest immunity assessment to the Requester. A schedule of costs will then be issued to the Requester.
Non-party disclosure orders will be handled in accordance with the timescales defined by the court. HSE would expect court orders to provide sufficient time is made available to comply and to avoid an application for an extension of time. Typically, HSE would suggest 28 days for compliance from the date of service of the sealed order.
When we might object to disclosure
HSE may object to an order and make representations to the court if we consider disclosure would prejudice HSE's ability to perform our statutory function(s). Examples include, but are not restricted to:
- Information is already available from a party to the proceedings
- Disclosure would prejudice HSE's ability to deliver appropriate enforcement action
- Information relating to confidential sources
- Material held by HSE that is owned by another party which may be commercially sensitive
- HSE's investigation analysis
- Both internal communications and communications with other enforcing authorities concerning potential prosecution strategies and plans
- Information that is subject to Legal Professional Privilege (LPP)
Where HSE objects to disclosure, whether disclosure is provided will be a matter for the court after considering representations.
HSE will reserve the right to recover reasonable costs associated with the effort used in responding to a court order. Such costs would cover;
- search and retrieval of information
- conducting public interest immunity assessments, and
- time spent preparing and issuing material to the court or solicitors
We may also include administration costs where this is appropriate.
Please note: There is no need to copy or serve documents at the Treasury Solicitors office in accordance with the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.
Information contained within this policy is provided to help you understand HSE's approach to a varying array of scenarios. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent, bespoke legal advice relevant to the particular circumstances of your case.