Skip to main content


The President of the Queen’s Bench Division (opens in a new tab) heads the QBD, which has both a criminal and civil jurisdiction.

Cases are heard by the President, and 73 High Court judges.

Judges who hear civil cases in the Queen’s Bench Division deal with ‘common law’ business – actions relating to contract, except those specifically allocated to the Chancery Division. They also hear civil wrongs, known as tort.

Contract cases include failure to pay for goods and service and breach of contract, while QBD tort cases include:

  • Wrongs against the person e.g. defamation of character and libel;
  • Wrongs against property e.g. trespass;
  • Wrongs which may be against people or property – e.g. negligence or nuisance;
  • QBD judges also preside over more specialist matters, such as applications for judicial review – a type of case which seeks to establish if a government decision has been made in the correct way.

Judges of the Queen’s Bench Division hear the most important criminal cases in the Crown Court, and will travel around the country to do so.

They also sit in the Employment Appeals Tribunal.