Our broad areas of responsibility in alphabetical order. Each area includes contact details, links to related sites, services, publications, reports and speeches.
- Administrative justice and tribunals
We aim to improve the way in which disputes over administrative decisions affecting individuals and disputes over employment rights are dealt with.
- Alternative dispute resolution
Courts should be the last resort for people involved in civil or family disputes.
Burial grounds, memorials and the burial and exhumation of human remains are regulated under burial legislation in the interests of public health and the decent and respectful treatment of the dead.
- Care proceedings
Our aim is to ensure that childcare proceedings are completed as quickly as possible to make the process less upsetting for children and their families. We also want to make sure that court action is only taken if absolutely necessary.
- Civil law reform
The aim of civil law reform is to create a clear, coherent, cost-effective and accessible system of private law rights and responsibilities.
- Civil procedure rules
Civil procedure rules govern the practice and procedure to be followed in the civil courts.
- Civil proceedings costs
Our aim is that the policy on recoverable costs in civil proceedings should provide for costs that are fair, reasonable and transparent.
- Claims management regulation
Claims management regulation safeguards consumers by improving the operating standards of those providing services relating to claims for compensation.
- Conditional fee agreements
Conditional fee agreements, also known as 'no win, no fee', are alternative methods of funding litigation.
We are responsible for the law and policy governing coroners and deal with the operation of the current coroner system.
- Court fees
Court fees are generally set at levels that reflect, on average, the full cost of the processes involved, with a well-targeted system of fee concessions to protect access to justice for those who are less well off.
We are responsible for the law and policy on cremation.
- Criminal Procedure Rules
We arrange consultations on proposed new rules and help people working in the criminal justice system to draw to the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee's attention any problems with existing legislation or court procedures.
- Crown dependencies
The crown dependencies are Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
- Data sharing and protection
We are responsible for data protection and data sharing, both domestically and representing the UK's interests internationally.
- Democratic engagement
Democratic engagement explores how to strengthen relations and dialogue between government, representatives and citizens in a changing society, and how to harness new ways of engaging.
We are responsible for the overall management of relations between the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Divorce dissolution and annulment
We are responsible for the law on divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, annulment of marriage or civil partnership, and any division of income and capital following that separation.
- Domestic violence
Defined as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
- Electoral administration
Reforming electoral legislation to improve access, engagement, confidence in the system, and maintain professional delivery of elections and registration procedures.
- Electoral modernisation
Electoral modernisation means giving people choice in the way they exercise their vote.
- European and international
We promote the interests of the UK Government in the EU, the Council of Europe and other international forums, in matters of criminal, civil and family justice; data protection; human rights; and democratic engagement.
- Family courts openness
We are committed to making procedures and the principles behind decisions in the family justice system more open and clear to users, and more open to scrutiny from the wider public.
- Family procedure rules
Family procedure rules govern the practice and procedure to be followed in family proceedings in the high court, county courts and magistrates' courts.
- Freedom of information
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force in January 2005 and gives any person the legal right to ask for and be given any information which is held by a public authority.
- Gender recognition
The Gender Recognition Act 2004 enables transsexual people to change their legal gender and gain the rights and responsibilities of their acquired gender.
- Human rights
The Human Rights Act ensures that your human rights are respected by public authorities, and makes it unlawful for them to act against your rights.
- International family law
International family law policy aims to create a clear, coherent, cost-effective and accessible system of private law rights and responsibilities in relation to cross-border family disputes.
- Judicial diversity
We are committed to ensuring a judiciary of the highest calibre, with candidates drawn from the widest possible range of available talent.
- Judicial pay and pensions
We fund and administer judges' pay and pensions and set their terms and conditions of service. We also arrange warrants, instruments or letters of appointment for judges once they have been appointed.
- Law of tort and damages, including personal injury
The law of tort and damages enables people to assert their rights and receive compensation for damage, loss or injury suffered as a result of another's negligence.
- Legal aid
Legal aid funds the provision of legal advice and representation for people who would otherwise be denied access to justice because they could not afford to pay.
- Legal services reform
Legal services reform is about putting the customer first in the way legal services are regulated and delivered, providing a framework that promotes competition, and innovation.
We are responsible for developing policy relating to the recruitment and appointment of volunteer magistrates in England and Wales.
- Marriage, civil partnership and cohabitation
We are responsible for the law in England and Wales on what constitutes a valid marriage or civil partnership; marriage and civil partnership ceremonies; and which marriages or partnerships celebrated abroad are recognised as valid here.
- Mental capacity
Mental capacity policy is about empowering and protecting people who may not be able to make decisions for themselves.
Some offenders are released from prison before their custodial sentence is due to end. Although the offender is released, they are still serving their sentence with conditions on their liberty.
Prisons serve the public by keeping in custody those committed by the courts.
Probation is about supervising convicted offenders in the community those subject to a court order and those released on licence from prison.
- Royal and hereditary
Responsibility for royal matters originates with the ancient office of the king's secretary.
If a defendant in a court case is found guilty of a crime, a judge or magistrate will decide on a suitable sentence.
- Single civil and family court
Today's civil and family courts system comprises different types and levels of court that have evolved over many years.
- Supreme court
The introduction of a supreme court for the United Kingdom will provide greater clarity in our constitutional arrangements by further separating the judiciary from the legislature.
- Victims and witnesses
The Government is committed to putting victims and witnesses at the heart of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Victims and witnesses are vital in the CJS, without their evidence cases can collapse.
- Youth justice
Children and young people who break the law are dealt with quite differently than adult offenders.