In Chambers Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is In Chambers?

Discussions or hearings which are held in the privacy of the judge’s office.It is done for matters which are to be kept confidential and cannot be discussed in front of public.It is also called “in camera”.

History and Meaning of In Chambers

In Chambers or "in camera" refers to a hearing or discussion held within the judge's private chambers, meaning outside the public's view in a courtroom. The purpose of holding such hearings or discussions is usually to discuss sensitive matters that shouldn't be discussed in front of the public or to save a lot of time in making decisions that do not require public consultation.

The term's history can be traced back to the Roman times when Roman judges used to meet with advocates to discuss the issues of the case in the chambers. Today, the practice is common among judges that want to protect sensitive information or speed up the process of making final decisions.

Examples of In Chambers

  1. During the court's proceedings, the judge might call the lawyers from both sides for an in chambers meeting to discuss confidential matters related to the case without the public's presence.
  2. Some judges might conduct interviews of witnesses in chambers to protect their identity or preserve their safety.
  3. In-camera inspections can be initiated during the trial when both parties dispute facts, and outside evidence is necessary for the judge to reach a decision.

Legal Terms Similar to In Chambers

  1. Ex Parte Hearings: proceedings that involve only one of the parties to a dispute and in the absence of the other.
  2. Confidentiality Order: It is a court order that limits the public disclosure of sensitive or confidential materials produced during litigation.
  3. Protective Order: It is a legal order issued by a court to protect a person or entity from harm or annoyance brought by another party through legal means.