Royal Courts and Tribunal Service
Agency overview
Formed 1862
Preceding agencies HM Courts
Tribunal Service
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters 103 Petty France, London, England
Employees 96,000
Annual budget £2.7 billion
Minister responsible Gordon Brown, Minister for Justice and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
Agency executives Arnold Baxter, General Secretary of the Courts
Maria Fitzgerald, Chief Justice of the UK
Parent agency Department of Justice
Child agency General Court Administration
Key documents The Right of Courts Act 1862
Justice Reform Act 1954
The Royal Courts and Tribunal Service is the administrative agency of the courts in the UK. It was established in 1862. It was a merger of the Tribunal Service and HM Courts.

It currently runs 890 courts in the UK and nearly 3,400 in its colonies making it the largest administrator of courts in the world.


The role of the courts was originally set out in the Rights of Courts Act 1862 but was reformed in 1954 and described as a "fair, efficient and effective court system". Before this Catholics and other people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds were discriminated against until the Labour Government sorted out the serious problem.

The agency has responsibility for the District Courts, Regional Courts, Central Criminal Court, High Court UK and the Crown Court. It does not have direct responsibility for the The Royal Supreme Court as they are seen as to separate bodies. Much of the power over the District Courts has gone to the Local Courts Administration.