Crown Court

Crown Court and County Court in Oxford.
Crown Court in Reading
Crown Court in London ("Old Bailey")

The Crown Court of England and Wales is, together with the High Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal, one of the constituent parts of the Senior Courts of England and Wales. It is the highest court of first instance in criminal cases; however, for some purposes the Crown Court is hierarchically subordinate to the High Court and its Divisional Courts.

The Crown Court sits in around 92 locations in England and Wales. The administration of the Crown Court is conducted through HM Courts and Tribunals Service.[1] Previously conducted across six circuits (Midland, Northern, North Eastern, South Eastern, Wales & Chester and Western), HM Courts and Tribunals Service is now divided into seven regions: Midlands, North East, North West, South East, South West, London, and Wales. The Wales region was identified separately, having regard to the devolved legislative powers of the Welsh Government.[2] When the Crown Court sits in the City of London it is known as the Central Criminal Court.[3] The "Central Criminal Court" at the Old Bailey, originally established by its own Act of Parliament, is a Crown Court centre, and is the venue at which many of the most serious criminal cases are heard.

The Crown Court carries out four principal types of activity: appeals from decisions of magistrates; sentencing of defendants committed from magistrates’ courts, jury trials, and the sentencing of those who are convicted in the Crown Court, either after trial or on pleading guilty. The average time from receipt by the Crown Court to completion was 177 days by the start of 2016.[4]