Visit the BETA version of the European e-Justice Portal and give us feedback of your experience!


menu starting dummy link

Page navigation

menu ending dummy link

Ordinary courts

Ordinary courts are the core of the judicial systems in the Member States. They deal with a major part of judicial proceedings. Their scope of jurisdiction varies considerably. You can find here information on the ordinary courts and their jurisdiction in each Member State.

In most Member States, the ordinary courts deal with two main types of proceedings:

  • Proceedings in criminal matters, i.e. regarding punishable (criminal) offences (such as theft, vandalism, fraud, etc.); these courts can impose penalties and are often referred to as "criminal courts",
  • Proceedings in civil matters, i.e. disputes between citizens and/or businesses (for instance, problems with rent, a service contract or a divorce, etc.); these courts are often referred to as "civil courts".

Please select the relevant country's flag to obtain detailed national information.

This page is maintained by the European Commission. The information on this page does not necessarily reflect the official position of the European Commission. The Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice with regard to copyright rules for European pages.
The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in the light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Last update: 06/10/2020