Courts of England and Wales

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and Senior Courts of England and Wales

  • Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
  • Highest appeal court in England and Wales
  • Previously held by the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords
  • Separate administration from other courts
  • Chief Executive appointed by the President of the Supreme Court
  • Also highest court of appeal for devolution matters
  • Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Originally created as the Supreme Court of Judicature
  • Renamed to Senior Courts of England and Wales in 1981
  • Consists of Court of Appeal, High Court of Justice, and Crown Court
  • Administered by HM Courts and Tribunals Service
  • Calls for a Wales criminal justice system

Court of Appeal and High Court

  • Court of Appeal
  • Deals with appeals from other courts and tribunals
  • Divided into Civil Division and Criminal Division
  • Decisions binding on all courts, except the Supreme Court
  • Part of the Senior Courts of England and Wales
  • Administered and supported by HM Courts and Tribunals Service
  • High Court
  • Functions as a civil court of first instance and appellate court
  • Divided into Kings Bench, Chancery, and Family divisions
  • Formation of Business and Property Courts within the High Court
  • Based in the Rolls Building with regional centres in major cities
  • Handles specialist jurisdictions and disputes

Subordinate courts

  • County Court
  • Purely civil jurisdiction across England and Wales
  • Family Court
  • Deals with family law matters
  • Magistrates courts
  • Handle minor criminal cases and preliminary hearings
  • Youth courts
  • Handle cases involving young offenders

Special courts and tribunals

  • Specialist courts, often referred to as tribunals, exist alongside regular courts in the UK
  • Examples include employment tribunals, which have an appeal process to the Employment Appeal Tribunal
  • The Employment Appeal Tribunal is a superior court of record, and appeals from there go to the Court of Appeal
  • The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 established the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal, absorbing many pre-existing tribunals
  • In the absence of a specific appeals court, decisions of a tribunal may be challenged through judicial review in the High Court

Coroners courts and Ecclesiastical courts

  • Coroners courts
  • Determine the cause of death in cases where there are suspicions or when deaths occur abroad or in the care of central authority
  • Coroners also have jurisdiction over treasure trove
  • Responsible for investigating and determining the circumstances surrounding certain deaths
  • Do not handle criminal trials but focus on determining cause of death and related matters
  • Ecclesiastical courts
  • Church of England had jurisdiction over marriage and divorce cases, testamentary matters, defamation, and more
  • Jurisdiction has narrowed primarily to church property and errant clergy
  • Each diocese has a chancellor who acts as a judge in the consistory court
  • Appeals from consistory courts go to the Arches Court in Canterbury and the Chancery Court in York
  • Further appeals can be made to the Court of Ecclesiastical Causes Reserved and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Courts of England and Wales Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph