B1.16.1 Civil Courts


Civil Courts deal with matters of Civil Law. This is concerned with the rights and duties of individuals towards each other. The remedies in Civil Courts usually involve compensation. Civil Courts include:

  • The High Court.
  • The County Court.
  • Tribunals. 


High Court

The High Court deals with higher level civil disputes. There are three divisions of the High Court:

  • The Queen’s Bench Division.
  • The Chancery Division.
  • The Family Division.


Queen’s Bench Division

The work of the Queen’s Bench Division, not including the specialist courts, consists mainly of claims for:

  1. Damages in respect of:
    1. personal injury,
    2. negligence,
    3. breach of contract, and
    4. libel and slander (defamation).
  2. Non-payment of a debt.
  3. Possession of land or property.


Proceedings retained to be dealt with in the Central Office of the Queen’s Bench Division will almost invariably be multi-track claims. In many types of claim (negligence by solicitors or claims for possession of land) the claimant has a choice whether to bring the claim in the Queen’s Bench Division or in the Chancery Division.

However, there are certain claims that may be brought only in the Queen’s Bench Division. These are:

  • Sheriff’s interpleader proceedings.
  • Enrolment of deeds.
  • Registration of foreign judgments under the Civil Jurisdictions and Judgments Act 1982.
  • Applications for bail in criminal proceedings.
  • Applications under the Administration of Justice Act 1920 and the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933.
  • Registration and satisfaction of Bills of Sale.
  • Election Petitions.
  • Obtaining evidence for foreign courts.