When Can a Party Access Court Documents?

A party to a proceeding in the Federal Court is entitled under Rule 2.32 of the Federal Court Rules 2011 (Cth) (Federal Court Rules) to inspect any document in the proceeding except:

  • a document that the Court has decided is privileged; or
  • a document for which a claim for privilege has been made but not yet decided by the Court; or
  • a document that the Court has ordered is confidential.

However, a party to a proceeding may apply, under r 2.32(4) of the Federal Court Rules, to the Court or a Judge for leave to inspect a document that the party is not otherwise entitled to inspect. The Access to Documents and Transcripts Practice Note (GPN-ACCS) provides you with guidance on how to access Court documents in a case including what the Court will take into consideration when assessing access requests.

Documents available on the Commonwealth Courts Portal

Many files created from mid-2014 are electronic files which can be accessed by parties through the Commonwealth Courts Portal (CCP) for no cost. To see if your file is an electronic file, check the file number table on the Electronic Court File page.

How to make an access request to inspect Court documents

For documents which cannot be accessed via the CCP, see How to make an Access request to inspect Court documents.