Records of the Crown Courts

Reference:
J Division 6
Title:
Records of the Crown Courts
Description:

Records of the Crown Courts relating to jurisdiction in trial on indictment.

For each court there are case files and indictments. For Liverpool and Manchester Crown Courts there are also stopping up orders.

  • Central Criminal Court, J 164, J 267, J 268
  • Inner London Crown Court, J 269, J 270
  • Acton, J 238, J 239
  • Aylesbury, J 240, J 241
  • Beverley, J 224, J 225
  • Birmingham, J 190, J 191
  • Bodmin, J 305, J 306
  • Bolton, J 208, J 209
  • Bournemouth, J 307, J 308
  • Bradford, J 226, J 227
  • Bristol, J 309, J 310
  • Burnley, J 236, J 237
  • Cambridge, J 242, J 243
  • Canterbury, J 244, J 245
  • Cardiff, J 299, J 300
  • Carlisle, J 289, J 290
  • Chelmsford, J 265, J 266
  • Chester, J 301, J 302
  • Chichester, J 246, J 247
  • Coventry, J 192, J 193
  • Croydon, J 248, J 249
  • Derby, J 194, J 195
  • Doncaster, J 228, J 229
  • Dudley, J 174, J 254
  • Durham, J 230, J 231
  • Exeter, J 311, J 312
  • Gloucester, J 313, J 314
  • Grimsby, J 259, J 260
  • Guildford, J 250, J 251
  • Harrow, J 263, J 264
  • Ipswich, J 261, J 262
  • Isleworth, J 252, J 253
  • Kingston-upon-Hull, J 220, J 221
  • Kingston-upon-Thames, J 279, J 280
  • Knightsbridge, J 216, J 217
  • Leeds, J 291, J 292
  • Leicester, J 196, J 197
  • Lewes, J 277, J 278
  • Lincoln, J 234, J 235
  • Liverpool, J 108, J 222, J 223
  • Luton, J 218, J 219
  • Maidstone, J 206, J 207
  • Manchester, J 109, J 287, J 288
  • Merthyr Tydfil, J 303, J 304
  • Middlesex Guildhall, J 275, J 276
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, J 212, J 213
  • Newport (Gwent), J 293, J 294
  • Newport (Isle of Wight), J 315, J 316
  • Northampton, J 257, J 258
  • Norwich, J 273, J 274
  • Nottingham, J 188, J 189
  • Oxford, J 186, J 187
  • Peterborough, J 184, J 185
  • Plymouth, J 319, J 320
  • Portsmouth, J 317, J 318
  • Preston, J 285, J 286
  • Reading, J 202, J 203
  • Salisbury, J 329, J 330
  • Sheffield, J 214, J 215
  • Shrewsbury, J 182, J 183
  • Snaresbrook, J 200, J 201
  • Southampton, J 327, J 328
  • Southwark, J 204, J 205
  • St Albans, J 271, J 272
  • Stafford, J 180, J 181
  • Stoke-on-Trent, J 178, J 179
  • Swansea, J 331, J 332
  • Swindon, J 325, J 326
  • Taunton, J 323, J 324
  • Teesside, J 283, J 284
  • Truro, J 321, J 322
  • Wakefield, J 281, J 282
  • Warrington, J 333, J 334
  • Warwick, J 176, J 177
  • Weymouth, J 295, J 296
  • Winchester, J 297, J 298
  • Wolverhampton, J 173, J 175
  • Wood Green, J 198, J 199
  • Woolwich, J 210, J 211
  • Worcester, J 255, J 256
  • York, J 232, J 233

Date:
1956-2002
Related Material:
Records of the Royal Commission on Assizes and Quarter Sessions 1966 to 1969 are in LCO 7
Legal status:
Public Record
Language:
English
Physical description:
165 series
Administrative / biographical background:

The Crown Court of the Supreme Court of Judicature was set up in 1972 under the Courts Act 1971. Its establishment owed much to the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Assizes and Quarter Sessions 1966 to 1969 and involved the replacement of courts of assize and quarter sessions, and the absorption of the Crown Courts of Liverpool and Manchester established under the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1956.

In addition to being given exclusive jurisdiction in trial on indictment, including proceedings on indictment for offences within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England, the Crown Court also took over the appellate jurisdiction of quarter sessions. To facilitate its business the act provided for the court to sit in any location in England and Wales, as directed by the Lord Chancellor; when sitting in the city of London the Crown Court was to be known as the Central Criminal Court.

The jurisdiction of the Crown Court may be exercised by any judge of the High Court, or any circuit judge or recorder or, in certain cases, any one of these sitting with justices of the peace. Judges of the Court of Appeal may also, on the request of the Lord Chancellor, sit as Circuit Judges. For business purposes the country consists of six circuits as follows: Midland and Oxford, North Eastern, Northern, South Eastern, Wales and Chester, and Western. Within the circuit the court sits at various centres, graded into three tiers.

Judges of the High Court serve only in centres of the first and second tier to which the more serious offences are committed for trial. The administrative work of the circuits and the deployment of judges is undertaken by the Circuit Administration of the Lord Chancellor's Office.

Four tiers of Crown Courts originally existed from 1 April 1972 under the Courts Act 1971:

  • First tier courts dealt with Class 1 offences as their priority: the most serious offences tried by a High Court Judge. Offences include treason, murder, hostage taking, torture and espionage and soliciting, incitement, attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offences. It is estimated that these offences are likely to comprise approximately 1% of the total cases tried. Crimes such as war crimes atrocities and genocide are also classed in this category but have, to date, usually been tried in special European Union War Crimes Tribunals. The few exceptions to the latter relate to war crimes committed by British naturalised subjects during the Second World War (1939 to 1945).
  • Second tier courts dealt with Class 2 offences as their priority - these offences include manslaughter, rape, abortion, infanticide, child destruction, unlawful sexual intercourse, incest, sedition, mutiny, and piracy and include any attempt or conspiracy to commit any of these offences. A High Court Judge tries them unless they are released by, or on the authority of, a presiding judge for trial by a Circuit Judge or Recorder. These are likely to comprise approximately 2% of the total cases tried.
  • Third tier courts dealt with Class 3 offences as their priority - These included all other offences triable only in a Crown Court upon indictment unless specifically assigned to classes 1, 2 or 4. These are likely to comprise approximately 4% of the total cases tried.
  • Fourth tier courts dealt with Class 4 offences as their priority - Class 4 offences include offences listed for trial by a Circuit Judge or Recorder. Typically, they include grievous bodily harm (GBH), wounding, robbery, assault with intent to rob, soliciting and conspiracy to commit offences other than those in classes 1, 2 and 3 and 'Either Way' offences. These are likely to comprise over 90% of the total cases tried by the Crown Courts. The Fourth tier courts were amalgamated with the Third tier courts in 2004.

The Liverpool and Manchester Crown Courts were established under the Criminal Justice Administration Act 1956. The decision to create these courts was based broadly upon the recommendation of the report of a Departmental Committee on a Central Criminal Court in South Lancashire 1952 to 1953, which had been appointed to consider the problem of the increase in criminal business in that area. The new courts took over the quarter sessions work in their cities and the criminal assize work for South Lancashire. Assize cases for the West Derby division of Lancashire were assigned to Liverpool and those for the Salford division to Manchester.

In 1972, following the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Assizes and Quarter Sessions 1966 to 1969, the courts were absorbed within the Northern Circuit of the Crown Court of the Supreme Court, under the Courts Act 1971.

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