Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
Working for the court service
What do court staff do?
Court staff are responsible for the running of criminal, civil and family courts, tribunals in England and Wales and non-devolved tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The roles are varied, and range from preparing court lists to providing legal advice for magistrates.
These are qualified barristers or solicitors who provide advice to magistrates on applicable laws and judicial procedures. They also ensure that court proceedings run smoothly and explain procedures to defendants and witnesses in order to avoid disruptions. Additional responsibilities include managing administrative matters and setting up hearing schedules
The Clerk is responsible for assisting the judge and managing the courtroom, ensuring it runs smoothly and that everyone is in the right place at the right time. The clerk implements any updates and informs the judge and prepares all the case papers for the judge to make sure they are fully prepared for court.
These are often the first point of contact and are responsible for preparing the courtroom, checking that witnesses, defendants and lawyers are present, calling defendants and witnesses into court and administering oaths. ‘Sworn Ushers’ are also responsible for escorting the jury to and from the courtroom, being on duty outside the jury room and taking messages between the jury and the judge.
Court Enforcement Officers
These are responsible for enforcing Magistrates Court orders, which may require them to seize and sell the offender’s goods to recover outstanding debts. You may also be required to execute warrants of arrest, committal, detention and warrants for the collection of unpaid rent.
Security Officers are responsible for control of access doors and gates to ensure that only authorised persons and vehicles are permitted access to court, conducting entry searches of all persons entering court buildings via public entrances, and preventing and dealing with security incidents. All court security officers must be trained, appointed and designated in accordance with the Courts Act 2003.
Court managers are responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the court, for example ensuring excellent customer service and the efficient running of court administration. You would also be responsible for building and maintaining partnerships with the judiciary and external agencies such as the CPS, and promoting engagement with the local community.
These help with the day-to-day running of the courts and their supporting offices, deal with enquiries from the public, book dates and times for court hearings, allocate cases to courtrooms, prepare lists of the day's court sessions and keep ushers informed of these, and follow up the court's judgments after a hearing.
Where do I find out about vacancies?
Vacancies are advertised on the Ministry of Justice jobs pages.