All formal criminal and civil court proceedings in New South Wales courts are recorded either in audio form or in shorthand.
Official court transcripts, which are written records of the court proceedings prepared in accordance with legislation, are made from these recordings.
The transcripts are used by judges, juries, legal practitioners and members of the public involved in court matters.
An official court transcript is important because the decision of a judge or other judicial officer may be appealed. During an appeal, a higher court may be asked to look at the original decision and determine if it was correct in law.
When are court transcripts made?
Transcripts of proceedings are not prepared in all matters.
If a person needs a typed copy of what was said during a court case, the Reporting Services Branch uses the shorthand record or the audio recording to prepare the transcript.
Sometimes daily transcripts of a hearing are produced at the request of a judge.
Transcripts are ordered from the particular court in which the case was heard.
To order a transcript:
- Download the relevant transcript order form for that court
- Fill in the form, giving reasons why you need the transcript
- Check the fees for the transcript and decide how to pay, payments are made to individual courts and tribunals.
- Email, fax or post the form to the relevant court
To download an order form for a particular court, go to Transcript forms and fees.
Who is entitled to a transcript of a court case?
The parties to the proceedings or their legal representatives are entitled to obtain a copy of a transcript for a set fee. The court or registrar may also permit parties who are not involved in the proceedings to obtain a copy of a transcript, if they provide sufficient reasons in writing.
Copyright of the transcripts is owned by the state. Transcripts cannot be photocopied or used in any other way without permission from the Reporting Services Branch or the crown.
How are transcripts stored?
Recordings of court and tribunal proceedings across all jurisdictions are retained for 10 years and then destroyed. All transcripts are required as State archives and are never destroyed