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 by the 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 2023 (source).

Crown court trials

Jan-Dec 2023 (source).


Civil courts claims

Jan-Dec 2023 (source).

Family court cases starting

Jan-Dec 2023 (source). All Adoption Act Data for 2023 is not available. 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

1,365,934

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts receipts

Magistrates' courts disposals

1,338,015

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts disposals

Magistrates' courts outstanding

370,731

Value for 31 Dec 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts outstanding

Magistrates' courts total number of trials

82,877

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts total number of trials

Magistrates' courts effective trials

41%

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts effective trials

Magistrates' courts cracked trials

37%

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts cracked trials

Magistrates' courts ineffective trials

22%

Value for 2023. View time series for magistrates' courts ineffective trials

Crown court receipts

105,464

Value for 2023. View time series for crown court receipts

Crown court disposals

99,304

Value for 2023. View time series for crown court disposals

Crown court outstanding

67,573

Value for 31 Dec 2023. View time series for crown court outstanding

Crown court total number of trials

28,992

Value for 2023. View time series for crown court total number of trials

Crown courts effective trials

41%

Value for 2023. View time series for crown courts effective trials

Crown courts cracked trials

31%

Value for 2023. View time series for crown courts cracked trials

Crown courts ineffective trials

27%

Value for 2023. View time series for crown courts ineffective trials


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

1,715,194

Value for 2023. View time series for civil courts - total claims

Civil courts - claims defended

260,563

Value for 2023. View time series for civil courts - claims defended

Civil courts - claims allocated to track

119,592

Value for 2023. View time series for civil courts - claims allocated to track

Civil courts - claims gone to trial

53,464

Value for 2023. View time series for civil courts - claims gone to trial

Civil courts - total judgments

1,058,964

Value for 2023. View time series for civil courts - total judgments


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

-

Value for 2023. View time series for family court - total cases started

Family court - total cases disposed

-

Value for 2023. View time series for family court - total cases disposed

Children Act - public law

15,603

Value for 2023. View time series for children act - public law

Children Act - private law

50,798

Value for 2023. View time series for children act - private law

Matrimonial matters

111,369

Value for 2023. View time series for matrimonial matters

Financial remedies

43,190

Value for 2023. View time series for financial remedies

Domestic violence remedy orders

30,353

Value for 2023. View time series for domestic violence remedy orders

Forced marriage protection

272

Value for 2023. View time series for forced marriage protection

Female genital mutilation protection

40

Value for 2023. View time series for female genital mutilation protection

All Adoption Act

-

Value for 2023. View time series for all adoption act

Applications made under the Mental Capacity Act 2005

35,231

Value for 2023. View time series for applications made under the mental capacity act 2005

Probate service - applications for grants of representation

302,413

Value for 2023. View time series for probate service - applications for grants of representation

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

1,168,019

Value for 2023. View time series for office of the public guardian - total power of attorney applications registered


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. His 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

351,890

Value for 2022/23. View time series for tribunals receipts - overall

Tribunals disposals - overall

298,219

Value for 2022/23. View time series for tribunals disposals - overall

First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) receipts

37,773

Value for 2022/23. View time series for first tier tribunal (immigration and asylum chamber) receipts

Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) receipts

2,359

Value for 2020/21. View time series for upper tribunal (immigration and asylum chamber) receipts

UTIAC judicial reviews receipts

2,320

Value for 2022/23. View time series for UTIAC judicial reviews receipts

Employment tribunal receipts - single claims

31,134

Value for 2022/23. View time series for employment tribunal receipts - single claims

Employment tribunal receipts - multiple claims

54,884

Value for 2022/23. View time series for employment tribunal receipts - multiple claims

Employment tribunal disposals - single claims

32,273

Value for 2022/23. View time series for employment tribunal disposals - single claims

Employment tribunal disposals - multiple claims

39,501

Value for 2022/23. View time series for employment tribunal disposals - multiple claims

Social security and child support receipts

137,212

Value for 2022/23. View time series for social security and child support receipts

Mental health receipts

30,660

Value for 2022/23. View time series for mental health receipts

Special tribunals receipts

54,643

Value for 2022/23. View time series for special tribunals receipts