Court administrative officers and assistants help with the day to day running of the courts and their supporting offices. They book dates and times for court hearings, allocate cases to courtrooms, and prepare lists showing the day's court sessions.
Court administrative officers are also responsible for collecting records and reports on each case for the judge or magistrate; carrying out the court's orders after a hearing; and dealing with enquiries from the public. Experienced administrative officers may assist in court by taking notes for the court clerk.
Some administrative officers work in a separate section specialising in fines and fees. They may collect fines, send out compensation or maintenance payments, produce summonses, and help members of the public to complete forms.
Court administrative officers usually work between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. However, they may be expected to work some overtime if a special hearing is held in the evenings or during a weekend. Part-time work, job sharing and flexitime may be available.
To be a court administrative officer you should:
Her Majesty's Court Service (effective from 1st April 2005) brings together magistrates' courts and the court service into one organisation. It is an agency of the Department of Constitutional Affairs and oversees all courts in England and Wales.
The Scottish Courts Service, an executive agency of the Scottish Executive, is responsible for running the 49 sheriff courts, the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary. The Scottish district courts are run by local authorities.
The Northern Ireland Court Service is part of the Civil Service and oversees all courts in the country.
Administrative assistants may be promoted to administrative officer and then to executive officer grade. There are opportunities to transfer to courts in other areas in order to gain promotion.
In magistrates’ courts, promotion within administrative grades depends on ability and experience. Some administrative staff in magistrates' courts train to become clerks of court who are legally qualified advisers to the magistrates (see Court Clerk profile).
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