The Courts System.
The County Court deals with various types of civil cases such as businesses trying to recover debts, personal injury claims, landlords trying to recover possessions of properties or tenants bringing claims against their landlords.
The County Court deals with Contract and Tort, recovery of land. It can deal with bankruptcy and insolvency matters, cases as to Wills and trusts were the value of the estate does not exceed £30,000 or under the Relations Act and even defamation claims where the parties agree.
In the County Court cases are heard by either a Circuit Judge or District Judges who are full time judges.
The High Court is divided into three divisions, Chancery Division, Queens Bench Division and the Family Division.
The Chancery Court deals with insolvency, business trade and industry disputes, enforcement of mortgages, intellectual property matters, copyright and patents, disputes relating to trusts property, contentious probate actions. Chancery Division also has a Patents Court and a Companies Court.
Queens Bench Division
This deals with other civil matters like contractual disputes, personal injury cases, industrial actions, defamation and negligence claims. The Queens bench Division will also reside over Judicial Reviews. The Queens Bench Division has specialist courts which are the Commercial Court, Admiralty Court, Mercantile Court and the Technology and Construction Court.
The Admiralty Court
This deals with Maritime and shipping disputes such as collision, salvage, carriage of cargo, limitation and mortgage disputes.
This deals with all commercial claims, such as commercial claims arising out of transaction of trade and commerce including any claim arising out of:
- Business documents or contracts,
- the export or import of goods,
- the carriage of goods by land, air, sea or pipeline,
- the exploitation of oil or gas reserves or other natural resources,
- insurance and reinsurance, banking and financial services,
- the operation of markets and exchanges,
- the purchase and sale of commodities, the construction of ships,
- business agency, arbitration.
Both the Commercial and Admiralty Courts have the same Judges and share administration and have a common procedure.
Construction and Technology Court
The Construction and Technology Court deals with the following types of claims:
- Building or Construction disputes;
- Engineering disputes;
- Claims by and against engineers, architects, surveyors and accountants and other specialist advisors based on the services they provide;
- Claims by and against local authorities relating to their statutory duties concerning the development of land or the construction of buildings;
- Claims relating to the design, supply in the installation of computers, computer software and related to network systems;
- Claims relating to the quality of goods either hired or sold and work done, materials supplied or services rendered;
- Claims between landlord and tenant for breach of a repairing covenant;
- Claims between neighbours, owners and occupiers of land in trespass, nuisance etc.
- Claims relating to the environment;
- Claims arising out of fires;
- Claims involving taking of accounts where these are complicated and;
- Challenges to the decisions of arbitrators in construction and engineering disputes including applications for permission to appeal and the appeals.
These cases are managed and heard by specialist Judges in London and at centres in England and Wales.