RunSensible’s Legal Dictionary

Your Guide to Clear and Concise Legal Definitions

Legal Dictionary

In camera

The term “in camera” is derived from Latin, which means “in private” or “in chambers” in English. Within the legal context, it refers to a proceeding, discussion, or examination that takes place privately, usually in a judge’s chambers or another private setting, rather than in an open courtroom.

There are various reasons why a legal matter might be conducted in camera:

1. Protection of sensitive information: In some cases, certain information or evidence may be too sensitive, confidential, or potentially harmful if disclosed publicly. Conducting proceedings in camera can help protect such information.

2. Privacy concerns: Some legal matters, such as family court cases or certain types of investigations, involve sensitive personal information or details that should not be disclosed to the public. In these cases, an in-camera proceeding ensures privacy.

3. National security: In cases involving national security interests, classified information, or issues related to state secrets, the court may decide to hold proceedings in camera to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

4. Witness protection: When a witness’s safety or identity needs to be safeguarded, a court may choose to conduct a portion of the proceedings in camera to protect the witness from potential harm.

5. Sealing of records: Courts may order certain documents or records to be sealed from public view, making them accessible only to authorized individuals involved in the case.

Although in-camera proceedings are private, they are usually recorded or documented for the record, even if they are not open to the public. This documentation allows for transparency in the legal process while protecting sensitive information or individuals’ privacy as necessary.

Articles & News for Law Professionals

Go to Top