Media Access to Court Recordings
Joint Courts’ list of designated media for access to digital court recordings
The Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court of Justice have produced a list of designated media to access digital court recordings. This list allows the media to access digital court recordings without the need to obtain a court order. You may find the list here: Designated Media List for Access to Digital Court Recordings.
The list has been divided into four (4) categories: 1. Newspapers and Publications, 2. News Agencies, 3. Radio and 4. Television.
Media organizations are required to complete the Request Form/Undertaking to the Court for Access to Digital Court Recordings. Please note that you are required to complete both pages of the form.
Once you have completed the form, please submit it to the court that heard the matter, along with the undertaking/request form and the fee. The Ministry of the Attorney General provides contact and related information about local courthouses .
When submitting the form to court staff, you will be required to provide photo identification and documentation confirming that you are a representative of the media organization identified in the list.
Media organizations that are not identified on the list may still obtain the digital recordings by bringing an application for an order requesting access to the recording to the presiding judge.
If the media has any questions regarding the Joint Courts’ list of designated media for access to digital court recordings, please email the Communications Officer of the Ontario Court of Justice at
If a media organization would like to be added to the list, please email the Communications Officer of the Ontario Court of Justice at
OCJCommunicationsOfficer@ontario.ca and the Communications Officer at the Superior Court of Justice at
Communications Officer at the Ontario Court of Justice:
Communications Officer at the Superior Court of Justice:
Policy regarding access to digital audio recordings
Digital audio recordings are recordings of “on the record” court proceedings at the Ontario Court of Justice. Below is a policy developed by the Ontario Court of Justice that explains how to obtain a recording and the restrictions to access the recordings.
The policy applies to all proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice. However, it is subject to any order by a presiding judge or justice of the peace.
Please note that there are restrictions on access to the digital audio recordings, as outlined in section 3 below.
2. Access to Digital Audio Recordings
Access to digital audio recordings is processed according to the role that an individual has in the justice system, including the media. The following outlines the proper procedure for obtaining the digital audio recording.
a) Copies of digital audio recordings will be provided, upon completion of the Request form / undertaking to the court for access to digital court recordings and payment of the regulated copy fee, to media on the Joint Courts’ list of designated media for access to digital court recordings posted on the Ontario Courts’ website.
Media who are not on the Joint Courts' designated media list for access to digital court recordings may still obtain digital recordings by bringing an application for an order authorizing access to the recording to the presiding judge or justice of the peace. In their absence, the application may be brought to the regional senior judge or regional senior justice of the peace or the local administrative judge or local administrative justice of the peace, or their designate.
To receive a copy of the digital audio recording, once you complete the court request form and undertaking, please take it and the payment to the court location that heard the proceeding for processing.
3. Restrictions on access to digital audio recordings
In some cases, there are restrictions, which restrict access of the digital audio recordings to the public and media. For example, some proceedings are in private due to legislation.
- Unless a judicial officer orders otherwise, there is no access to digital audio recordings of the following:
- In camera (in private) proceedings or any portion of a proceeding that is heard in camera (in private)
- Proceedings that are private or closed pursuant to common law, statute or court order
- Proceedings subject to a statutory, common law or court ordered restriction on the provision of court records, transcripts or recordings of the proceedings
- Case, settlement and trial management conferences.
- Sealing order:
- Where any digital audio recording is of a proceeding where there is a sealing order, no access shall be provided to any person other than the presiding judicial officer, the Ontario Judicial Council or the Justices of the Peace Review Council, without a court order of the judicial officer making the sealing order or an appellate reviewing court.
4. Publication bans and other restrictions
Anyone receiving a digital audio recording pursuant to this policy is responsible to identify and comply with any publication bans, sealing orders, or other restrictions imposed by legislation or by court order.
How to access court records
Court files, documents and exhibits
Court records are managed by the Ministry of the Attorney General. The Ministry has a policy regarding access to court records that you may find here: Ministry of Attorney General Policy to Access Court Records. It explains which court documents are available to the public and how to access them.
Child Protection, Adoption and Openness court records are not available to the public. Similarly, Youth Criminal Justice and other additional criminal court records may not be available to the public as specified in the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Policy to Access Court Records (see link above).