Hierarchy of Civil Courts in England

Like every other nation, there is a certain hierarchical structure followed in the courts of England as well. The courts system or the judicial system in the United Kingdom is made of three different regional distinctions one of which is England and Wales. The Civil Courts of Engalnd and Wales constitute of the following bodies/ entities:

  1. The Supreme Court of United Kingdom
  2. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division
  3. The High Court of Justice
  4. The County Courts
  5. The Tribunals

The following is a description of hierarchy of civil courts in England:

Hierarchy of Civil Courts in England

1. The Supreme Court of UK:

This is the higher most body of civil judiciary in the United Kingdom and of criminal judiciary in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is the court of final appeals when it comes to civil cases in England and Wales.

2. The Court of Appeal

There are two divisions in the Court of Appeal- the criminal division and the civil division. The Civil Division of the Court of Appeals hears the appeals from the High Court, the tribunals and under certain circumstances from the county courts. The decisions by the Court of Appeals are binding on itself, and all the other courts excluding the Supreme Court.

3. The High Court

There are 3 divisions within the High Court, namely

  • The Queen’s Bench Division- This division handles all the cases related to contracts and tort in the region. The courts/ segments that fall under this division include commercial court, mercantile court, admiralty court, and technology and construction court, administrative court.
  • The Family Division- The division houses the Companies court, divisional court and the patents court.
  • The Chancery Division- This division houses the court which handles all the issues regarding family law, matrimony etc.

The decisions of the divisions of High Court though binding, can be appealed to Civil Division of the Court of Appeal.

4. County Courts

The jurisdiction of these courts is purely civil and the sittings of these courts in 92 towns/ cities across all of England and Wales. The county courts handle majority (almost all) of the litigations and cases related to civil issues. The judges that preside over the cases under the County Courts include district or circuit judge.

5. The Tribunals

There are many specialist areas of law and cases such as immigration, employment, child welfare etc. which are governed by the tribunals in England and Wales. There are separate tribunals for separate areas all across the UK.

Know more about British courts hierarchy: Click here