Civil cases are known as private cases because they involve private individuals, i.e., not the state.

However, to be clear, civil proceedings may have elements that are open to the public. Small claims hearings can be open for viewing by members of the public, although they can also be held in the privacy of Judges’ rooms or simply decided based on the documentation provided by both parties, never reaching an actual courtroom.

Under the Civil Procedure Rules, statements of cases (including the claim form and particulars of claim) and judgements or orders can be requested  by members of the public, including journalists.


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