In Camera Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of In Camera, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is In Camera?

It refers to a secret and private discussion and trials held with the judge in his private chambers or in the courtroom without any public or jurors. Normally sensitive matters and matters of national security is tried or discussed privately which may or may not be recorded.

History and Meaning of In Camera

The term "in camera" literally means "in chamber" or "in private" in Latin. It refers to a legal proceeding that takes place in private, rather than in open court. This type of proceeding is usually held in the judge's chambers or courtroom, but without public access. In-camera hearings are common in cases involving sensitive information and national security, as well as in situations where the privacy of a person or organization must be protected.

Examples of In Camera

  1. In a high-profile criminal trial, the prosecution may request an in-camera hearing to discuss sensitive evidence that could prejudice the jury or endanger national security.
  2. During a divorce or child custody case, the judge may hold an in-camera session with the child to assess their wishes and concerns without exposing them to the public or the other parties involved.
  3. A company accused of wrongdoing may request an in-camera hearing to present privileged information that could compromise their legal position if revealed in open court.

Legal Terms Similar to In Camera

  1. Ex parte - Refers to a legal proceeding that takes place without the presence of the opposing party or their attorney.
  2. Privileged communication - Information that is protected from disclosure by law, such as attorney-client communications or doctor-patient privacy.
  3. Confidentiality agreement - A contract that prohibits the disclosure of certain information between parties, usually for the protection of trade secrets or sensitive data.