Crown Court dataset becomes second output available to researchers as result of Data First

The ‘Crown Court defendant case level dataset’ is supported by a suite of materials to enable accredited researchers – across government and academia – to make the best of use of this data to improve our understanding of justice-system use. These resources include a Data First user guide and data catalogue, which describe the nature and the quality of the data shared. 

This follows the release of the ‘Magistrates’ Court defendant case level dataset’ in June, warmly welcomed by HMCTS and key judicial stakeholders. 

Data First is a ground-breaking three-year data linking programme, led by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and funded by ADR UK. The project aims to unlock the potential of the wealth of data already held by MoJ, linking administrative datasets from across the justice system and beyond to better inform policy related to crime and justice. 

About the data 

The ‘Crown Court defendant case level dataset’ provides data on Crown Court use between 2013 and 2019. This data will provide insight into the Crown Court user population, including the nature and extent of repeat use. It will enable, for the first time, researchers to establish whether a defendant has entered the courts on more than one occasion and will drive better policy decisions to reduce frequent use of the courts. 

Lord Justice Fulford, Vice President of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and Judicial Lead on Data, said:“I consider this to be an extremely important project, which has been established according to all of the principles that necessarily apply to work of this kind. In a sentence, it will enable critical research to be undertaken by accredited professionals, whilst protecting the identities of those involved in the individual cases. 

"It is clearly vital that we make the best and the most responsible use of our invaluable data resource, without undermining the independence of the judiciary, the fair administration of justice or the privacy of those who are entitled to expect protection. I am reassured by the collaborative approach that has been adopted, and I look forward to being briefed on this developing enterprise.” 

How to access the dataset 

Researchers seeking to access this new dataset must first become an accredited researcher by completing the relevant forms from the UK Statistics Authority and submitting them to

If you are already an accredited researcher, you can apply to access the specific data required for your project on

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