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HM Courts & Tribunals Service was created on 1 April 2011. It brings together HM Courts Service & Tribunals Service into one integrated agency providing support for the administration of justice in courts and tribunals.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is an agency of the Ministry of Justice. It uniquely operates as a partnership between the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals as set out in our Framework Document.

The agency is responsible for the administration of the criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It provides for a fair, efficient and effective justice system delivered by an independent judiciary.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service aims to ensure that all citizens receive timely access to justice according to their different needs, whether as victims or witnesses of crime, defendants accused of crimes, consumers in debt, children at risk of harm, businesses involved in commercial disputes or as individuals asserting their employment rights or challenging the decisions of government bodies.The agency’s work is overseen by a Board headed by an independent Chair working with non-executive, executive and judicial members. The Board ensures that the agency delivers the aims and objectives set by the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice and the Senior President of Tribunals.


Magistrates’ courts are a key part of the criminal justice system and 97% of cases are completed there. In addition  magistrates’ courts deal with many civil cases e.g. anti-social behaviour, public health and are responsible for the enforcement of fines and community punishments. Where cases require a penalty greater than the magistrates’ sentencing powers, cases will be sent to the Crown Court.


The county court, often referred to as the small claims court, deals with civil matters, such as:

  • Claims for debt repayment, including enforcing court orders and return of goods bought on credit
  • Personal injury
  • Breach of contract concerning goods or property
  • Family issues such as relationship breakdown or adoption
  • Housing disputes, including mortgage and council rent arrears and re-possession


The County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC) deals with designated money claims providing a critical supporting service to the county courts.

The work done includes issue, entry of judgement, acknowledgements of service, defences and processing completed allocation questionnaires. I f at any stage an oral hearing is required the claim will be transferred to a local county court. The CCMCC will also issue warrants of execution on designated money claims where judgement has been entered at the centre.


The Crown Court deals with more serious criminal cases such as murder, rape, or robbery, some of which are on appeal or referred from magistrates’ courts Trials are heard by a Judge and a 12 person jury. Members of the public are selected for jury service or may have to go to court as witnesses. Crown Court cases originate fro magistrates’s courts.


The High Court deals with higher level civil disputes within three divisions, the Queen’s Bench Division, the Chancery Division, the Family Division and it deals with other jurisdictions including the Administrative Court.

The High Court sits at the Royal Courts of Justice

The Ministry of Justice website provides a wide range of information including information regarding the Courts, the Probate service, Tribunals and other organisations for which it is responsible. It also covers Legal Aid and the Offenders and Youth Justice system. Areas covered are detailed below:

Court Finder
The Court Finder details the addresses, facilities, opening hours and key contact details as well as maps and tools to plan your journey to the following Courts:

Administrative Court Admiralty court Bankruptcy Court County Court Fixed Penalty Office
Justice Centre and Family Court Law Court Magistrates Court Probate Registry Youth Court

Other Courts
Information is provided about

The Rolls Building Royal Courts of Justice Chancery Division Court of Appeal Court of Protection
Commerical & London Mercantile Court Patents Court Famiy Division Principal Registry Family Division
Queen’s Bench Division Senior Court Cost Office

Daily Court Lists
Daily court hearings listed for  the Royal Courts of Justice and the Rolls Building

Administrative Court at Birmingham Administrative Court for Wales (Cardiff) Bristol Administrative Court Hearing Centre Administrative Court at Leeds
Administrative Court at Manchester Administrative Court and Divisional Courts at the RCJ Admiralty, Commercial & London Mercantile Court Bankruptcy Court – High Court Bankruptcy Court – County Court Chancery Division – Judges Chancery Division – Masters
Companies Court Companies Court Winding Up List
Court of Appeal Criminal Division Court of Appeal Civil Division Court of Appeal Civil Division Family Division
Patents Court Diary Patents County Court Diary Principal Registry of the Family Division (PRFD) Queen’s Bench Division
Queen’s Bench Masters List Rolls Building Cause List Royal Courts of Justice Cause List Senior Court Costs Office

Court Fees
Provides details of court fees payable and the remission system waiving fees to those who may have difficulty paying and meet appropriate criteria.

Probate Service
Details include how to find a Probate Registry can be found here.

These include corporate reports, policy reports, research and analysis reports and independent inspection reports.

Procedure Rules
Procedure rules for civil, criminal and family cases can be found here.

Organisations that work with the Ministry of Justice

HM Inspectorate of Prisons
Court Funds Office Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Criminal Cases Review Commission
Commission on a Bill of Rights HM Courts & Tribunals Service
HM Inspectorate of Probation HM Prison Service Independent Monitoring Board
Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman Law Commission
Legal Services Board Legal Services Commission Legal Services Consumer Panel
Legal Ombudsman National Offender Management Service
Office of the Public Guardian Official Solicitor and Public Trustee Parole Board Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Probation
Victims’ Commissioner Youth Justice Board

Details are provided of the following Tribunals:-

Employment Tribunal –  Including which type of cases are heard, how to make a claim, details of the fees involved, how to contact the service with queries about tribunal publications and how the tribunal service works, relevant rules and legislation, the location of tribunal venues, details of available booklets and guides and the relevant forms.

Immigration and Asylum Tribunal –  Including hearings, appeals procedure, relevant rules and legislation, decisions, forms and a directory of asylum support tribunals.

Social Security and Child Support Tribunal – Including leaflets, overview of the appeals procedure, what to expect at a hearing, how to appeal to a higher tribunal if you lose the appeal, directory of venues, forms and claiming expenses.

Special Education Needs and Disability –  Including help and advice before an appeal, details of mediation services, appeals, hearings, decisions, relevant rules and legislation, directory of venues and forms.

Tax Tribunal –  Including appeals, hearings, what to do if you lose your case, forms and contact details.

Other Tribunals – Details provided of other Tribunals including Administrative appeals, Agricultural Land and Drainage, Asylum support, Care Standards, Criminal Injuries Compensation, Gangmasters Licensing Appeals, Gender Recognition Panel, General Regulatory Chamber, Lands, Lands Registration, Local government standards, Mental Health, MPs’ expenses. Primary Health Lists, Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, Reserve Forces appeals, Residential Property, War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation.

Legal Aid – Information includes what legal aid can cover, the types of legal aid available, assessing eligibility, alternatives to legal aid and how to make a claim.

Offenders – Information includes Prison Service Instructions(PSIs), Prison Service Orders(PSOs), The Probation Service, Parole Board guides, prison finders and support for the families of prisoners.

Youth Justice – Information includes accommodation, assessment, courts and orders, toolkits and youth justice boards.

Jordan’s Civil Court Service – Provides an online subscription service to the Brown Book including Civil procedure Rules, Practice Directions, Pre-Action Protocols, Court Guides, Fees Orders, Court Directory, Court Forms and the Civil Court Service Newsletter.