◦ Based in London but has judges sitting in 26 towns and cities in England and Wales◦ It has the power to hear any civil cases in one of its divisions.◦ Queens bench division, Chancery division and the Family division.
◦ Queen’s Bench Division◦ President of QBD is Lord Chief Justice, around 70 in this division.◦ Contract and Tort Cases over £50,000 but claims lower can be considered.◦ Cases are normally tried by single judge and a jury of 12 can be used for cases of fraud, libel, slander, malicious prosecution.◦ Cases here are expensive and can take some time. Average waiting time of three years.
◦ Chancery Division◦ Head of this division is the Chancellor of the High Court and there are around 17 of them.◦ Mainly deal with matters of insolvency, enforcement of mortgages, disputes relating to trust property.◦ Contains a special companies court which deals with winding up companies.◦ Juries never used here, single judge instead.◦ Criticised for being costly and often slow.
Family Division ◦ 17 High Court Judges here and their head is the President. ◦ Hears cases relating to children under the Children Act 1989. ◦ Cases heard by a single judge and jury no longer used.
◦ Dated 26th april 1999, these rules are bought into effect.◦ Rules changed many things to simplify proceedings and make court accessible.◦ E.g. “claimant” and not “plaintiff” or “claim form” and not “writ” RULE 1.1 – aim is to ensure courts deal with case justly.
aim is to ensure courts deal with case justly. judges must; Ensure parties are on equal fooling Save expenses Deal with cases proportionately i.e. amount of cost and gain for claimant Ensure cases dealt with quickly and fairly. Allocate the right amount of the courts resources.
Judges must; Identify issues early in the case. Encourage the parties to use an alternative to court. Deal with procedural steps without the parties having to come to court Give directions so that a case proceeds quickly and effectively.