Civil Court Structure

In most countries Civil actions are dealt with at three ascending levels, a court of ‘first instance’, a court of appeal and a supreme court. In England the court of ‘first instance’ that is where the case is first brought to court has two levels. Relatively minor claims are dealt with in the County Courts and more serious cases go to the High Court. The High Court is split into three divisions The Queen’s Bench – the largest division which hears all matters not dealt with by the other divisions. There are two specialist courts within the Queen’s Bench – the Commercial Court and the Admiralty Court. The Commercial Court where the judges have special experience in commercial matters. Procedure in this court is more flexible than the normal procedure and it hears cases on insurance banking, mercantile agency and construction and enforcement of contracts and shipping documents such as bills of lading and charter parties.