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  United Kingdom, England, Wales, Scotland, Wales & North Ireland Criminal & Civil Court Record Searches
  Search Police Reports

Search United Kingdom (Great Britain) Courts, Boards and Tribunals by region or nationwide for Criminal and Civil Court records. Regional civil and criminal records check, search the court system for the regions of England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Comprehensive Nationwide civil & criminal records check for UK covers the following courts, boards and Tribunals. Lookup lawsuits, judgments, convictions, rulings, opinions, legal proceedings, trials, case summaries, dispositions and other dockets.

England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)
England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court)
England and Wales High Court (Admiralty Division)
England and Wales High Court (Chancery Division)
England and Wales High Court (Commercial Court)
England and Wales High Court (Supreme Court Cost Office)
England and Wales High Court (Exchequer Court)
England and Wales High Court (Family Division)
England and Wales High Court (King's Bench Division)
England and Wales High Court (Mercantile Court)
England and Wales High Court (Patents Court)
England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division)
England and Wales High Court (Technology and Construction Court)
England and Wales Patents County Court

England and Wales Care Standards Tribunal
England and Wales Lands Tribunal

Scottish Court of Session Decisions
Scottish High Court of Justiciary Decisons
Scottish Sheriff Court Decisions

Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland
Crown Court for Northern Ireland
High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland Chancery Division
High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland Family Division
High Court of Justice in Northern Ireland Queen's Bench Division
Fair Employment Tribunal Northern Ireland Decisions
Industrial Tribunals Northern Ireland Decisions
Northern Ireland - Social Security and Child Support Commissioners' Decisions

Privy Council Decisions
United Kingdom House of Lords Decisions
United Kingdom Competition Appeals Tribunal
Nominet UK Dispute Resolution Service
Special Immigrations Appeals Commission
United Kingdom Employment Appeal Tribunal
United Kingdom Financial Services and Markets Tribunals Decisions
United Kingdom Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
United Kingdom Information Tribunal including the National Security Appeals Panel
United Kingdom Special Commissioners of Income Tax Decisions
UK Social Security and Child Support Commissioners' Decisions
United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals Decisions
United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Customs) Decisions
United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Excise) Decisions
United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Insurance Premium Tax) Decisions
United Kingdom VAT & Duties Tribunals (Landfill Tax) Decisions

Court of Justice of the European Communities (including Court of First Instance Decisions) European Court of Human Rights

 

  The Magistrates Court or the Justice of Peace also known as the district court in Scotland:
 
The Magistrate's Courts hear criminal trials and deal with most of the criminal cases. These courts can issue a maximum sentence of six months. Magistrates do not have to be legally qualified. There are more than 700 magistrates' courts in England and Wales. Magistrates' courts handle all the less serious crimes known as summary offenses such as parking offences, which cannot be tried by a jury. Certain more serious crimes also known as solemn or indictable offences such as manslaughter and arson can only be tried at the Crown Court, where a jury may be present.
The Crown Courts:

There are 90 crown court centers across England and Wales and these were officially set-up in 1972. Crown Court hears appeals from magistrates and also holds trial by jury for the most serious crimes. A jury consists of 12 people aged between 18 and 70 taken from the electoral list. What goes on in the jury room is secret, and can never be discussed. The jury decides whether the accused is guilty or not, by looking at the facts that have been established. Many of the cases considered by the Crown court are indictable cases, which are serious offences triable before a judge and jury, and these include murder, rape, serious assault, kidnapping, conspiracy, fraud, armed robbery, and Official Secrets Act offences.
The High Court:

The High Court is composed of three separate divisions and was created in 1875. The largest part is the Queen's Bench Division. It is a civil court, but has some criminal powers. The High Court is a civil court and has the authority to hear any civil case in England and Wales. It handles everything from libel and litigation to contract cases and family cases such as divorce. Juries may be asked to sit in on some cases. The high court  forms the Supreme Court of Judicature, with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court. And it is divided into three divisions which are: 1. The Queen's Bench Division, 2. The Chancery Division, and 3. The Family Division.

The Queen's Bench Division:

(QBD) is headed by the Lord Chief Justice, and has nearly 70 judges. It hears contract and tort cases where the claimant is seeking damages above a certain amount. A judge usually sits alone, but a jury of 12 may be employed to hear cases involving fraud, libel, slander, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment. The Queen's Bench also The Queens Bench also includes a Commercial Court, which has specialist judges who deal with insurance, banking and commercial matters; and an Admiralty Court, that deals with shipping matters such as claims for damage caused by collision at sea and salvage rights following the sinking of a vessel. It also includes a Technology and Construction Court, which hears any High Court cases involving technically complex matters, such as, those involving computers, science, technology and engineering disputes.

The Chancery Division:

has 17 judges and is headed by the Lord Chancellor and has about 17 judges. Juries are never used and a single judge hears disputes concerning insolvency, mortgages, copyright and patents, trust property, probate and intellectual property matters, are referred to this court. This Court hears a small amount of appeals on tax and bankruptcy matters.
The Family Division:

has 17 judges and is headed by the President of the Family Division. It consists of a single judge and never uses a Jury. This court generally hears cases concerning access and custody of children, nullity of marriage and other matters concerning the family.  Any appeals from magistrates concerning family matters are heard at this court.
Coroner's Court:

The office of the Coroner was started during the period of William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of Britain. Coroners are judicial officers and are responsible for investigating the cause of death involving  violent, sudden or unnatural causes. The Coroner's Court holds investigations to determine how, when and where an individual died, and in some cases a coroner will head this court on their own. Coroners generally tend to be lawyers, and in some cases doctors, and they and their deputies hold investigations or inquests into the causes of death to determine whether further criminal investigation is necessary.
County Court known as the Sheriff's Court in Scotland:

County Courts deal with Civil Law such as civil issues relating to family or property law - such as divorce or disputes over land. The County court does not take criminal cases. It hear's  more formal cases before a district or circuit judge, and deals with a majority of divorce cases. The judge will be advised by a court clerk on all matters, and will preside over most common law matters. County courts do not generally fit within county boundaries in England and Wales, All property cases up to �30,000, all personal injury claims less than �50,000, and bankruptcy matters are all carried out by the District Judge at the county court. The County Court also hosts the small claims court, where most minor civil matters can be resolved with an informal arbitration.
Court of Appeals:

was established in 1966 and is divided into the Civil and Criminal division and has 35 Lords Justices of Appeal that decide if a case is suitable to reconsider. If a convicted person feels he or she did not have a fair trial in the Crown Court and has been wrongfully convicted, or that the sentence imposed by the judges is unfair, then he or she can take their case to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), where more senior judges can consider the merits of their case.
Court of Sessions:

In Scotland the Court of Sessions is the supreme civil court. It is located in the Parliament house in Edinburgh. This court has 32 judges, known as Lords of Council and Session, led by the Lord President.
The House of Lords:

is the oldest common law court in Great Britain and has performed a judicial function in one form or another since the 15th century. It is the highest court throughout the United Kingdom (similar to the supreme court in USA) and is situated at the houses of Parliament. There are between nine and 11 law lords. Two come from the Scottish judiciary and sometimes one from Northern Ireland. The Lord Chancellor, and former Lord Chancellors are also entitled to sit. A case will be heard by at least three, but sometimes up to seven, Law Lords, and the outcome is decided by a majority verdict. The correct title for the House of Lords sitting in its judicial capacity is the Appellate committee of the House of Lords. Law Lords are life peers and are entitled to attend political debates. Law Lords are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen, on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, and must retire at the age of 75 years. They must be a barrister of 15 years' standing, or have been a judge for at least 10 years.

UK Legal System

The legal system in the United Kingdom is adversarial in all courts, including the juvenile courts. The prosecution must disclose relevant information to the defense, but the corresponding duty on the defense does not exist.

UK Classification of Crime

In the United Kingdom, there are many ways of classifying crimes, they are largely distinguished on the basis of their seriousness. In addition, offenses may be classified according to the procedure by which a case is brought to trial (in a magistrates' court only, by indictment, or triable-either-way in a magistrates' or the higher Crown Court), according to the availability of the sanction of imprisonment, or in terms of the Home Office's Standard List of more serious offenses.

Age of criminal responsibility. The age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales is 10. Children between 10 and 17 years of age are brought before a youth court when charged with a criminal offense. The sanctions available to youth courts are more restricted than those for adult courts, the major differences being that fines can be imposed which parents must pay and supervision or attendance center orders may be imposed.

Drug offenses. The classification of drugs by seriousness of offense presents particular difficulties. The Misuse of Drugs Act of 1971, created for the purpose of narcotic control, listed certain drugs as Class A, B, or C, depending on the magnitude of harm deemed to be attached to their trafficking and use. Drugs can be reclassified and new drugs classified within this framework. It is essential that flexibility be maintained so that drug classification is kept in line with current social and scientific opinion. The Misuse of Drugs Act was intended to regulate the use and flow of drugs. Accordingly, as a general rule it is unlawful to import or export, produce, supply, possess, prepare or cultivate any controlled substance.

UK Police Powers and Procedures

Police powers and use of discretion. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 allows a police officer to stop, detain and search persons and vehicles for stolen goods, weapons, or other tools of crime, and they may set up roadblocks in certain circumstances. The officer must state and record the grounds for taking this action and record what was found. In 1995, the police recorded 690,300 stops and searches of persons and/or vehicles, an increase of 20 per cent over the previous year. Twelve per cent of searches led to an arrest. The police have powers to enter and search premises and to seize and retain property. The police may seize anything which on reasonable grounds is believed to be evidence of the offense under investigation, or of any other, or which had been obtained following an offence.

Decision to arrest. Arrest may occur without a warrant where a person is reasonably suspected of having committed an arrestable offense, or a magistrate may issue a warrant.

Use of force. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1994 allows a police constable to use reasonable force if necessary to detain or search a person or vehicle. What is reasonable force will depend on the circumstances and the extent to which the citizen resists.

Rights of the Accused or Suspects in the United Kingdom

Legal advice. One of the most important rights available to those detained on the suspicion of committing an offence is the right to free and independent legal advice. Persons detained at the police station must be notified of their right to free legal advice by the custody officer. Legal advice can be obtained regardless of means, privately or through the Duty Solicitor Scheme.

Right of silence. Suspects may opt to remain silent during interviews with the police. Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 however, the court, under certain circumstances, may draw adverse inferences where suspects exercise this right.

Accountability. The Police Complaints Authority, established in 1984, supervises the investigations of alleged serious misconduct by police officers and decides whether a breach of discipline should be charged. If a police officer is alleged to have killed or seriously injured a citizen, the Authority must oversee an investigation. The Authority will hand a case to the Crown Prosecution Service if a judgement is reached that a criminal offense may have been committed. Discriminatory behavior is an offense under the Police Discipline Code.

Legal advice is available to all defendants charged with an offense. Duty solicitors are on hand at the court to provide legal representation, or defendants, particularly those with prior knowledge of the criminal justice system, may use the services of a private solicitor before their appearance at court. Legal aid must be granted when a defendant faces a murder charge or where the prosecutor appeals to the House of Lords. Otherwise, complete or partial payment of legal costs is made available if the defendant is deemed to require such assistance after a means inquiry.

UK Judicial and Prosecutorial Process and Procedures

When the police wish to offer a case for prosecution, they charge the defendant and hand case papers to the Crown Prosecution Service, which then reviews the evidence and makes a decision whether or not to prosecute. Currently, around 26% of all cases are discontinued by the Crown Prosecution Service on the grounds of either insufficiency of evidence or a judgment that it is not in the public interest to pursue a case.

Once in court, a defendant may be found guilty, acquitted, have the sentence deferred for up to 6 months, have an absolute discharge or be conditionally discharged on good conduct.

Who conducts prosecutions in the UK?

The Crown Prosecution Service took over responsibility for prosecution from the police in England and Wales in 1986, and are currently under increasingly heavy criticism. The two problems which their introduction was intended to address were regional differences in rates of prosecution and the high rates of directed acquittals in the Crown Court. However, both of these problems now appear to be worse than before the Crown Prosecution Service was introduced. The Service has been accused of discontinuing winnable cases due to incompetence and for wasting police time by demanding the preparation of full case dossiers in advance of a decision to prosecute. In addition, the necessity to create administrative units within the police service to weed out cases before they are considered by the Crown Prosecution Service is seen as overly time consuming. Finally, the Service is less accountable for its actions than the police or courts, a matter which has attracted increasing concern and criticism. The Serious Fraud Office, established in 1988, investigates and prosecutes the most serious and complex fraud offenses in England and Wales and in Northern Ireland. The SFO has itself attracted criticism for its failure to secure prosecutions in some notorious cases.

Alternatives to trial. Options exist for a court appearance to be avoided. This may be by a formal caution administered by the police, used disproportionately for young offenders, or by discontinuance of a case by the Crown Prosecution Service. A formal caution requires that certain conditions be satisfied, including the admission of the offense and the willingness of the offender, or his or her legal guardian if the offender is a juvenile, to proceed as the police wish. A movement is currently under way to persuade the Government to permit legal aid for mediation procedures as an attempt to avoid the court process.

Pre-trial incarceration conditions. There are limits to the length of the remand period. In magistrates court trials, the defendant must not be in custody more than 56 days from their first court appearance to trial. If there is a committal for trial to the Crown Court, this must take place within 70 days of the first court appearance. If a plea has not been taken within 112 days of committal the defendant is entitled to bail unless the court extends the limit. To do this properly, the court must be satisfied that the prosecution has acted as swiftly as was reasonably possible.

United Kingdom Bail Procedure

The police may release an accused person on bail. Under new provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 the police can attach bail conditions to a person's bail before the first court appearance. If bail is not granted by the police, a swift appearance before a magistrates court occurs. There is a presumption in favor of bail under the Bail Act of 1974. The presumption for bail may be over-ridden on clearly defined grounds, such as the judgment that an accused will interfere with the administration of justice or abscond. There is a limited right of appeal against a magisterial decision to deny bail.

UK Extradition and Treaties

For the purpose of extradition, the legal framework in the United Kingdom distinguishes between different types of states. First are those designated as Commonwealth countries and Dependent Territories, where extradition is governed by the Fugitive Offenses Act of 1967. These states include: Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Canada, Cyprus, Dominica, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, St. Lucia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, Western Samoa and Zambia. Dependent territories include Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Monserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St. Helena and the Turk and Cacos Islands. Second, the U.K. has Extradition Acts which govern treaty agreements with the following foreign states: Albania, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Salvador, San Marino, Switzerland and Thailand. Finally, extradition between the Republic of Ireland and the U.K. is controlled by the 1965 Backing of Warrents Act, in accordance with the 1978 Suppression of Terrorism Act, which gives effect to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism.

 

 

 

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