I ask NOT about court opinions. The UKSC doesn't publish them.

Can I get a copy of a party's 'skeleton argument' or case?

The UKSC does not publish parties' cases. [...].

Yet Gina Miller tweeted to her skeleton argument for her Claim No: CO/3385/2019 at the QBD, on her solicitor's website.

Googling "Skeleton Argument of the Secretary of State" yields just 27 results, e.g.


A submission is simply the name for that part of one side's case which is submitted to the court but is not evidence, whether that is 'I suggest there is no case to answer' or a day-long oration. As such, they are not normally written documents, and so are only generally available by obtaining a transcript of the whole day's proceedings . Even if this is possible (not all cases are automatically recorded) there is certainly a charge for it.

There are exceptions, of course: the Supreme Court, less bound by tradition since it was created only recently, prefers to read advocates' speeches rather than listen to them. And advocates do in practice often write out their speeches, so a particular submission might be obtainable by suitable flattery of the advocate (or more likely his clerk/secretary). But in general, the answer is "you can't".

  • +1. Thanks for the elucidation. I edited my OP: does it change anything? – NNOX Apps May 10 '17 at 23:28
  • Fascinating. While U.S. criminal proceedings still have a high proportion of oral presentations to written documents, in civil proceedings in the U.S., written documents are king and oral presentations are pretty much considered only the icing on the cake. – ohwilleke May 11 '17 at 2:40
  • @Canada-Area51Proposal: The edited question is probably too wide to be answerable. The Civil Procedure Rules set out which documents are available to the public (the deleted answer now seems more pertinent than mine), and there are similar rules for criminal cases; but available usually means 'can be inspected if you go to the court' rather than 'put on the Internet'. – Tim Lymington May 11 '17 at 8:33
  • The question is fine. Its asking where to obtain a specific type of filing: a skeleton argument. – Shazamo Morebucks Oct 30 '19 at 10:52

Court filings are documents filed to court for cases, a skeleton argument is one of these documents.

Documents relating to a case forms its case "docket".

While case judgments are usually easy to access, and for free, it is not the same for case dockets.

In the US, there is a public service called PACER, which is a database that allows members of the public to retrieve case dockets and therefore filings from a case.

In the UK, the equivalent would be the E-Filing system: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ce-file-system-information-and-support-advice

The E filing system is used by many courts, but it is NOT used by every court in tue UK, notably the court of appeals have yet to implement it, and are on track to adopt it by 2025 if I recall correctly.

Check the link to see information about how to search for case dockets as a public user, and see the case you are looking for can be found.


Generally, you can't. These are private documents, only the judgement is public.

  • 2
    Anything said in open court (which includes most submissions) cannot be private. – Tim Lymington May 12 '17 at 16:48

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