Is there a public record of the arguments used in court cases?

There is a news story in the UK at the moment about the Post Office prosecuting sub-postmasters for fraud, where it was the post office who made the mistake. One example:

Following an audit, Mr Castleton's branch was found to have a £25,000 shortfall. He was subsequently suspended. The Post Office spent the next two years pursuing him for the missing money through the civil courts. He was forced to defend himself in London's High Court because he had no money to hire a lawyer. When he lost the case, he was made bankrupt.

I assume for this to happen the post office stood up in court and presented evidence that convinced the judge or jury that their numbers were right, when that was not the case. I think it is important that we as the voting public know how this happened, in particular what evidence was presented, so that we can pressure our elected representatives to ensure such a thing cannot happen in the future. Is there a way to find out what arguments were made to convince the High Court that what did not happen did happen?

2 Answers 2


Members of the public can apply to the court for access to case documents:

(2) A non-party may, if the court gives permission, obtain from the records of the court a copy of any other document filed by a party, or communication between the court and a party or another person.

(Rule 5.4C(2) of the civil procedure rules).


As Greendrake says you can ask the court for material.

You may also search BAILII for High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court judgments. They mention the arguments and evidence heard by the court.

For that particular example, I searched the England & Wales section for Castleton Post Office. That resulted in links to the specific case as well as two judgments in a subsequent related case that may be of interest.

Post Office Ltd v Castleton [2007] EWHC 5 (QB) (22 January 2007) https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2007/5.html

Bates & Ors v Post Office Ltd (No 3) [2019] EWHC 606 (QB) (15 March 2019) https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2019/606.html

Bates & Ors v the Post Office Ltd (No 6: Horizon Issues) [2019] EWHC 3408 (QB) (16 December 2019) http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2007/5.html

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