About us

What we do

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) 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. We work with an independent judiciary to provide a fair, efficient and effective justice system.

We administer the work of the Royal Courts of Justice, the County Court, the Family Court, the Crown Court, magistrates’ courts and these tribunals:

  • Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)
  • Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
  • Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber)
  • Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)
  • First-tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Care Standards Tribunal)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health Tribunal)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Primary Health Lists)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Asylum Support)
  • First-tier Tribunal (Criminal Injuries Compensation)
  • First-tier Tribunal (War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation)
  • Employment Tribunal
  • Employment Appeal Tribunal
  • Gender Recognition Panel
  • Gangmaster Licensing Appeals
  • Pathogens Access Appeal Commission
  • Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission
  • Reserve Forces Appeal Tribunal
  • Special Immigration Appeals Commission

HMCTS is not responsible for other courts and tribunals.

Through the courts and tribunals we give people and businesses access to justice, including:

  • victims and witnesses of crime
  • defendants accused of crimes
  • consumers in debt or with other disputes
  • people involved in the adoption or protection of children
  • businesses involved in commercial disputes
  • individuals asserting their employment rights or challenging the decisions of government bodies
  • people affected by relationship breakdown

We follow the Ministry of Justice’s strategic vision for reform, to create a more effective, less costly and more responsive justice system for the public.

Who we are

We employ around 18,000 staff and operate from locations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • providing the supporting administration for a fair, efficient and accessible courts and tribunal system
  • supporting an independent judiciary in the administration of justice
  • driving improvements across all aspects of the administration of the courts and tribunals
  • collaborating effectively with other justice organisations and agencies, including the legal professions, to improve access to justice
  • working with government departments and agencies to improve the quality and timeliness of their decision-making, which will reduce the number of cases coming before courts and tribunals

Our priorities

Our priorities for 2014 to 2015 are:

  • transitioning to a new operating model in preparation for the start of the courts and tribunals administration reform programme in 2015 to 2016
  • improving the tribunal users’ experience, which will also help reduce our costs
  • working with justice system partners to improve our services
  • supporting reforms to legislation and updating procedural rules in order to make the legal process more straightforward and transparent

Corporate information

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