Courts data

HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) is responsible for the administration of the criminal, civil and family courts in England and Wales, tribunals in England, and non-devolved tribunals in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

HMCTS is an executive agency, sponsored bythe Ministry of Justice (MOJ). The Ministry of Justice publishes the official statistics relating to the operation of the criminal and civil justice systems, including courts and tribunals. These are published on a quarterly basis and are the best, most comprehensive figures on this topic for most purposes.


Courts data overview

Magistrates' courts trials

Jan-Dec 2021 (source).

Crown court trials

Jan-Dec 2021 (source).


Civil courts claims

Jan-Dec 2021 (source).

Family court cases starting

Jan-Dec 2021 (source). Please refer to the relevant publication for further explanations of these categories.


Tribunals receipts overview

Social Security and Child Support

30.6%

Employment
Tribunal

38.7%

FTTIAC

8.6%

Other

22.1%

Apr 2020 - Mar 2021 (source). Data for 2021/22 is not available.


Virtually all criminal court cases in England and Wales start in a magistrates' court. The less serious offences (summary and some triable either-way) are handled entirely in magistrates' courts.

More serious offences (triable either-way or indictable only) are passed via the magistrates' court on to the Crown Court, either for sentencing after the defendant has been found guilty or for a trial with a judge and jury. The Crown Court also receives appeals against decisions of the magistrates' courts.

The magistrates' court is the first tier of criminal courts in England and Wales and is presided over by three ‘Justices of the Peace’ (known as lay magistrates) or by a district judge.

The Crown Court is a single entity that sits at various court centres across England and Wales, it predominately deals with serious criminal cases. Unlike the magistrates' court, trials in the Crown Court have a jury to determine the guilt of defendants and a judge which can impose tougher sentences.

See criminal court statistics at MOJ for further information.

Magistrates' courts receipts

1,144,047

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts disposals

1,170,238

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts outstanding

355,568

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts total number of trials

93,322

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts effective trials

42%

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts cracked trials

36%

Value for 2021. View time series.

Magistrates' courts ineffective trials

22%

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown court receipts

98,124

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown court disposals

95,654

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown court outstanding

58,890

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown court total number of trials

21,881

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown courts effective trials

48%

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown courts cracked trials

29%

Value for 2021. View time series.

Crown courts ineffective trials

23%

Value for 2021. View time series.


Civil cases are those that do not involve family matters or failure to pay council tax. Civil cases are mainly dealt with by county courts and typically relate to debt (these generally being issued for a specified amount of money), the repossession of property, personal injury (these generally being issued for an unspecified amount of money), the return of goods and insolvency. Particularly important, complex or substantial cases are instead dealt with in the High Court.

See civil justice statistics at MOJ for further information.

Civil courts - total claims

1,582,363

Value for 2021. View time series.

Civil courts - claims defended

275,904

Value for 2021. View time series.

Civil courts - claims allocated to track

158,626

Value for 2021. View time series.

Civil courts - claims gone to trial

53,675

Value for 2021. View time series.

Civil courts - total judgements

980,474

Value for 2021. View time series.


Family law is the area of law that deals with:

  • Public law - local authority intervention to protect children;
  • Private law - parental disputes concerning the upbringing of children;
  • Matrimonial cases - divorces, annulments and separations;
  • Financial remedy (formerly known as 'ancillary relief') - financial provisions after divorce or relationship breakdown;
  • Domestic violence remedy orders;
  • Forced marriage protection orders;
  • Female genital mutilation protection orders;
  • Adoption;
  • The Mental Capacity Act; and
  • Probate

See family court statistics at MOJ for further information.

These measures show the annual total number of cases starting in family courts in England and Wales.

Family court - total cases started

265,646

Value for 2021. View time series.

Family court - total cases disposed

249,293

Value for 2021. View time series.

Children Act - public law

16,426

Value for 2021. View time series.

Children Act - private law

54,649

Value for 2021. View time series.

Matrimonial matters

108,850

Value for 2021. View time series.

Financial remedies

46,463

Value for 2021. View time series.

Domestic violence remedy orders

30,242

Value for 2021. View time series.

Forced marriage protection

200

Value for 2021. View time series.

Female genital mutilation protection

35

Value for 2021. View time series.

All Adoption Act

8,783

Value for 2021. View time series.

Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

35,379

Value for 2021. View time series.

Probate service - applications for grants of representation

282,651

Value for 2021. View time series.

Office of the Public Guardian - total power of attorney applications registered

715,298

Value for 2021. View time series.


Tribunals are specialist judicial bodies which decide disputes in particular areas of law. Appeals to tribunals are generally against a decision made by a government department or agency. The main exception to this is the employment tribunal where cases are on a party v party basis (specifically, employee versus employer). There are tribunals in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland covering a wide range of areas affecting day-to-day life. Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) administers many of them although some are the responsibility of the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These measures show the annual total number of tribunals receipts by jurisdiction.

See tribunals statistics at MOJ for further information.

Tribunals receipts - overall

304,566

Value for 2020/21. View time series.

Tribunals disposals - overall

265,628

Value for 2020/21. View time series.

First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)

39,742

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)

-

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

UTIAC judicial reviews

1,895

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

Employment tribunals

-

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

Social security and child support

95,058

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

Mental health

31,994

Value for 2021/22. View time series.

Special tribunals

47,559

Value for 2021/22. View time series.