The new unified court services is costing £1.5bn to run, its first annual report revealed last week (25 July). Her Majesty’s Court Service (HMCS) was set up in April 2005 to integrate the running of magistrates’ courts, Crown courts and country courts, as well as the Royal Courts of Justice. It covers 650 courts in total. In 2005-06 the cost of running the courts was almost £1.5bn. HMCS made £538m from various sources, including court fees and fines, meaning the net cost to the Government is £1bn.