Specialist Courts


In addition to the courts mentioned in previous sections, there are a number of specialist courts. For example:

Coroners' Courts

Investigate sudden, violent or unnatural deaths. They do this by holding an inquest. The evidence is considered and from that, a cause of death is established.

Court Martial

Deals with the criminal trials of servicemen and women in the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force for serious offences, or cases where the defendant chooses not to be dealt with by his or her commanding officer.

The Financial List

Since October 2015, a specialist Financial List handles claims related specifically to the financial markets. The claim is brought on the basis that it raises issues of general importance to the financial markets.


Other quasi-legal authorities commonly used:


Tribunals are an independent, specialised part of the justice system of England and Wales. They are set up by Parliament to rule on disputes between individuals or private organisations and state officials. Tribunals sit across the UK. Within England and Wales, there are approximately 100 different tribunals, each dedicated to a distinct area. The most common include those dealing with agricultural land, employment, asylum and immigration; and mental health.

Tribunals operate their own procedures that are less complicated and more informal than those usually associated with courts. Tribunals are made up of panels comprising a tribunal judge and tribunal members who are often drawn from relevant professions. These members are not necessarily legally qualified but they have valuable specialist knowledge and experience.


There are also specialist ombudsmen who have been appointed to deal with complaints about an organisation. Using an ombudsman is often a way of trying to resolve a complaint without going to court.

There is a number of ombudsmen, including:

  • The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about Government departments and certain other public bodies.
  • The Local Government Ombudsman, who investigates complaints about local councils and some other local organisations.
  • The Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • The European Ombudsman.
  • The Legal Ombudsman.
  • The Housing Ombudsman.