open court

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“Open court” refers to judicial proceedings to which the public has access. Public access includes the ability to attend courtroom proceedings, as well as access to court records and transcripts. Where a case or part of a case may reveal sensitive or private information that should not be made public, the proceedings are held “in camera” (in the judge’s private chambers and out of the presence of the public). For example, in Connecticut, “court proceedings as to disclosure of confidential HIV-related information shall be conducted in camera unless the subject of the test agrees to a hearing in open court or unless the court determines that a public hearing is necessary to the public interest and the proper administration of justice.”

[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]