List of Crown Court venues in England and Wales

Last updated
Central Criminal Court, better known as the Old Bailey, is the crown court for the City of London. Oldbaileylondon-900.jpg
Central Criminal Court, better known as the Old Bailey, is the crown court for the City of London.

In the system of courts of England and Wales, the Crown Court deals with serious criminal charges and with less serious charges where the accused has elected trial at the Crown Court instead of trial at a magistrates' court. The Crown Court also hears appeals against conviction and sentence from magistrates. [1]

Contents

Background

The Crown Court system was established by the Courts Act 1971, which came into force on 1 January 1972, following the recommendations of a Royal Commission chaired by Lord Beeching. Previously, criminal cases that were not dealt with by magistrates were heard by assize courts and Quarter Sessions courts, in a system that had changed little in the preceding centuries. [2] The Crown Court system is administered by Her Majesty's Courts Service, an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Justice. England is divided into six regions by HMCS (London, Midlands, North East, North West, South East and Western), with the whole of Wales forming a seventh region. [3]

Organisation

In 2007, there were 91 locations in England and Wales at which the Crown Court regularly sat. [4] Crown Court centres are designated in one of three tiers: first-tier centres are visited by High Court judges for criminal and also for civil cases (in the District Registry of the High Court); second-tier centres are visited by High Court judges for criminal work only; and third-tier centres are not normally visited by High Court judges. High Court judges hear 2% of cases at the Crown Court, but 27% of the most serious (Class 1) cases. Circuit Judges and Recorders sit at all three tiers, hearing 88% and 10% of the cases respectively. When the Crown Court is conducting a trial, the judge sits with a jury of twelve; when hearing appeals against decisions of a Magistrates' Court, the judge sits with two (or sometimes four) magistrates. [1]

Place of business

Section 78 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 provides that the Crown Court can conduct business at any location in England and Wales, in accordance with directions given by the Lord Chancellor. [5] This power is sometimes used to enable court sittings to take place away from one of the regular Crown Court venues. For example, in 2007, a sitting of the Crown Court was held at one of the oldest court buildings in England or Wales, the former courthouse in Beaumaris, Anglesey, which was built in 1614 and closed in 1997. [6]

Crown Court locations

Blackfriars Crown Court Blackfriars Crown Court.jpg
Blackfriars Crown Court
Brighton Law Courts Law Courts Brighton.JPG
Brighton Law Courts
Cambridge Crown Court Cambridge Crown Court.jpg
Cambridge Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court Cardiff Crown Court.JPG
Cardiff Crown Court
Exeter Crown Court Exeter Combined Court Centre.jpg
Exeter Crown Court
Hove Trial Centre Hove Law Courts.jpg
Hove Trial Centre
Kingston upon Hull Crown Court Hull Combined Court Centre.jpg
Kingston upon Hull Crown Court
Inner London Crown Court Inner london crown court southwark.jpg
Inner London Crown Court
Lewes Crown Court Lewes Law Courts1.jpg
Lewes Crown Court
Newport Crown Court Newport - Civic Centre - geograph.org.uk - 696032.jpg
Newport Crown Court
Reading Crown Court Reading Crown Court.jpg
Reading Crown Court
Snaresbrook Crown Court Snaresbrook Crown Court.jpg
Snaresbrook Crown Court
Stafford Crown Court Stafford Crown Court.JPG
Stafford Crown Court
Swansea Crown Court Swansea Crown Court.jpg
Swansea Crown Court
Worcester Crown Court The Shire Hall, Worcester.jpg
Worcester Crown Court
York Crown Court York Crown Court - geograph.org.uk - 1178380.jpg
York Crown Court
Court nameRegion [3] Tier [3] NotesRef
Amersham South EastThirdAmersham Law Courts act as a satellite to Aylesbury Crown Court.
Aylesbury South EastThirdMarch 2018 saw the relocation of the court house into the town's previous Magistrates' court. [7]
Basildon South EastThirdShares a building with Basildon County Court; there are seven courtrooms for criminal cases. [8] [9]
Birmingham MidlandFirstFour of the sixteen courts are in a separate building. [10]
Bolton North WestThirdShares a building with Bolton County Court [8]
Bournemouth WesternSecondShares a building with Bournemouth County Court [8]
Bradford North EastSecondShares a building with Bradford County Court [8]
Brighton South EastThirdThere are two court rooms dedicated to hosting Crown Court cases within the Magistrates' Court
Bristol (Bristol Crown Court)WesternFirstTakes long trials from other courts in the region [11]
Burnley North WestThirdShares a building with Burnley County Court [8]
Caernarfon WalesFirstA new court building opened on 20 May 2009, the new building contains two Crown court courtrooms and two magistrates court courtrooms; the listed building formerly holding the court was put on sale for £120,000 in 2008. [12] [13]
Cambridge (Cambridge Crown Court)South EastFirstUpgraded to first tier status in 2005 after a new court building opened in 2004 [14]
Canterbury South EastThirdShares a building with Canterbury County Court [8]
Cardiff (Cardiff Crown Court)WalesFirstAdministers Newport Crown Court [15]
Carlisle North WestFirstShares a building with Carlisle County Court [8]
Carmarthen WalesSecondAdministered from Swansea Crown Court [16]
Central Criminal Court LondonSecondKnown as the "Old Bailey", after the street on which the court is located
Chelmsford South EastFirst
Chester North WestFirstAdministers the crown courts at Knutsford and Warrington [17]
Coventry MidlandThirdShares a building with Coventry County Court [8]
Croydon LondonThirdShares a building with Croydon County Court [8]
Derby MidlandThirdShares a building with Derby County Court [8]
Doncaster North EastThirdDesignated as a suitable venue for terrorism-related trials, following improvements to the building in 2007 [18]
Dorchester WesternSecondThe court has one courtroom; the court offices are in Weymouth [19]
Durham North EastThirdThe court has two courtrooms [20]
Exeter WesternFirstShares a building with Exeter County Court [8]
Gloucester WesternSecondThe court is in a nineteenth-century building described by the local senior judge as "not fit for the 21st century in any shape or form". [21]
Great Grimsby North EastThirdShares a building with Great Grimsby County Court [8]
Guildford South EastThirdThe court also uses a courtroom at Guildford Magistrates' Court for two weeks each month. [22]
Harrow LondonThird
Hereford MidlandThirdA satellite of Worcester Crown Court [23]
Inner London (Inner London Crown Court)LondonThird
Ipswich South EastSecond
Isleworth LondonThird
King's Lynn South EastThird
Kingston upon Hull North EastThirdShares a building with Kingston upon Hull County Court [8]
Kingston-upon-Thames LondonThirdThe court has been designated to hear terrorism trials as a backup if Woolwich Crown Court is unable to hear a particular trial. [24]
Lancaster North WestThirdA satellite of Preston Crown Court, which sits at Lancaster Castle [25]
Leeds (Leeds Crown Court)North EastFirstShares a building with Leeds County Court [8]
Leicester MidlandSecondShares a building with Leicester County Court [8]
Lewes (Lewes Crown Court)South EastFirstShares a building with Lewes County Court; the court has ten courtrooms, split between Lewes, Hove and Brighton. [8] [26]
Lincoln MidlandFirstThe court is based in Lincoln Castle [8]
Liverpool (Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts, Liverpool)North WestFirstShares a building with Liverpool Youth Court [8]
Luton South EastSecondThe number of defendants pleading guilty is lower than the national average, with the senior local judge commenting that this is thought to be because of the historically high level of jury acquittals in Bedfordshire. [27]
Maidstone South EastSecondShares a building with Maidstone County Court [8]
Manchester (Crown Square)North WestFirst [28]
Manchester (Minshull Street)North WestThirdThere are ten courtrooms in the main building, with a further two at Stockport Magistrates' Court. [29]
Merthyr Tydfil WalesSecondShares a building with Merthyr Tydfil County Court and Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates' Court [8]
Mold WalesFirstShares a building with Mold County Court; extension plans have been put forward [8] [30]
Newcastle upon Tyne North EastFirstShares a building with Newcastle upon Tyne County Court [8]
Newport (Isle of Wight) WesternThirdShares a building with Newport (Isle of Wight) County Court and the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court [8]
Newport (South Wales) (Newport Crown Court)WalesSecondThe three courtrooms are administered from Cardiff Crown Court [15]
Northampton (Northampton Crown Court)MidlandSecondShares a building with Northampton County Court [8]
Norwich South EastFirstShares a building with Norwich County Court [8]
Nottingham (Nottingham Crown Court)MidlandFirstShares a building with Nottingham County Court [8]
Oxford South EastFirstShares a building with Oxford County Court [8]
Peterborough South EastThirdShares a building with Peterborough County Court [8]
Plymouth WesternSecondShares a building with Plymouth County Court [8]
Portsmouth WesternThirdShares a building with Portsmouth County Court [8]
Preston (Preston Crown Court)North WestFirstShares a building with Preston County Court; administers the satellite crown courts at Barrow-in-Furness and Lancaster [25] [8]
Reading South EastSecondThe court has six courtrooms, but pressure of work means that some cases are moved to Oxford Crown Court for hearing. [31]
Salisbury WesternThirdShares a building with Salisbury County Court [8]
Sheffield North EastFirstShares a building with Sheffield County Court [8]
Shrewsbury MidlandSecondThe court has three courtrooms, now hosted in the town’s former magistrates’ court, which has been completely refurbished since its closure in 2016. [32] [33]
Snaresbrook LondonThird Snaresbrook is the largest crown court centre in England. [34] [35]
Southampton WesternThirdShares a building with Southampton County Court [8]
Southend South EastThirdShares a building with Southend Magistrates' Court [8]
Southwark LondonThirdThe court is the designated crown court in London for all fraud or money laundering cases estimated to last 6 weeks or more. [36]
St Albans South EastSecondThe court has four courtrooms and has had to hold additional hearings at Cheshunt Magistrates' Court and Watford County Court because of pressures of work. [37]
Stafford MidlandFirstShares a building with Stafford County Court [8]
Stoke-on-Trent MidlandThirdShares a building with Stoke-on-Trent County Court [8]
Swansea WalesFirstAlso administers the crown courts at Carmarthen and Haverfordwest [16]
Swindon WesternThirdShares a building with Swindon County Court [8]
Taunton WesternThirdShares a building with Taunton County Court [8]
Teesside North EastFirstShares a building with Middlesbrough County Court [8]
Truro WesternFirst Truro Crown Court shares a building with Truro County Court [8]
Warrington North WestSecondAdministered from Chester Crown Court [17]
Warwick MidlandFirstShares a building with Warwick County Court [8]
Winchester (Winchester Crown Court)WesternFirstShares a building with Winchester County Court [8]
Wolverhampton MidlandThirdShares a building with Wolverhampton County Court [8]
Wood Green LondonThird
Woolwich (Woolwich Crown Court)LondonThird
Worcester MidlandSecondShares a building with Worcester County Court; administers a satellite crown court at Hereford [8] [23]
York North EastSecondA two-court centre, taking work from a large part of North Yorkshire [38]

See also

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References

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  4. "Courts". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) . House of Commons. 4 December 2007. col. 1179W–1181W.
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