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Civil courts

The lower courts decide matters of fact and the upper courts normally deal with points of law.  

Judges have different titles depending on their experience, training, and level. A single stipendiary magistrate or three lay magistrates sit in the Magistrates' Court. There's no jury in a Magistrates' Court. The County Court also hears complex first instance civil cases. There are circuit judges and recorders who sit in the County Courts, usually without a jury.

More complex civil cases are heard in the High Court of Justice, which is divided into three divisions: Family, Chancery and Queen's Bench. From the High Court cases may go on appeal to the civil division of the Court of Appeal, which can reverse or uphold a decision of the lower courts. Civil cases may leapfrog from the High Court to the House of Lords, bypassing the Court of Appeal, when points of law of general public importance are involved. The court of the House of Lords consists of twelve life peers appointed from judges and barristers. The quorum of law lords for an appeal hearing is normally three, but generally there is a sitting of five judges.