Information about the Royal Courts of Justice
The Royal Courts of Justice may be familiar to you as many of the most high profile court cases that receive media coverage take place in the Royal Courts of Justice building. The building itself was opened by Queen Victoria in 1882 and is now the permanent location of the Supreme Court. If you need to contact the court you can call the general switchboard on: 0207 947 6000.
The building itself actually houses several different courts that include the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The High CourtThis court handles serious civil disputes. The High Court consists of three divisions that include:
- The Queen’s Bench Division. This usually hear cases of negligence, personal injury, libel, breach of contract, none payment of debts and possession of property or land.
- Family Division. This court deals with all cases relating to marriage.
- The Chancery Division. This is based in the Thomas More Building. Cases heard in this court include those relating to: companies, land, wills, claims relating to inheritance, commercial disputes, patent cases and revenue cases relating to tax such as VAT.
The Court of AppealThe Court of Appeal falls within the remit of the Supreme Court of Judicature that includes the Crown Court and the High Court. The Court of Appeal usually sits in 12 courts that are presided over by 37 regular judges.
The Court of Appeal sits throughout the year at fixed times. For 2008 these are:
Michaelmas Term [1st October 2007 to 21st December 2007].
Hilary Term [11th January 2008 to 19th March 2008].
Easter Term [1st April 2008 to 23rd May 2008].
Trinity Term [3rd June 2008 to 31st July 2008].
The Court of Appeal is made up of two divisions:
- Civil Division. This division handles appeals from the High Court in England and Wales. It also hears appeals from County courts in England and Wales, and from certain tribunals including employment, land and immigration tribunals.
- Criminal Division. This court hears appeals from the Crown Court.
The Royal Court of Justice building also houses the Office of the Judge Advocate General who will hear criminal cases against any serving men or women in the UK’s armed forces. These are known as Courts-Martial. Lastly, the Royal Court of Justice building also houses the Administrative Court that hears a wide-range of cases from drug trafficking to judicial reviews that can happen if someone feels their rights have been compromised because of a law.
General Information:Opening Hours for the public are 9.00am to 4.30pm. Courts sit between 10.00am and 4.30pm. Lunch is usually taken between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.
The nearest underground stations are: Chancery Lane and Holborn on the Central Line and Temple on the District and Circle Lines.
For information about which buses go near the court visit the Transport for London website: www.tfl.gov.uk.
Parking is available at the court for people with a disabled badge, but you must contact the court first giving at least 24 hours notice of your arrival. There are public car parks with the nearest NCP parking in Shoe Lane that is off New Fetter Lane.