Responsibility for the provision of court buildings and their maintenance resided with the Office of Public Works and the Local Authorities until November 1999 when the Courts Service was established.
The Service has taken the opportunity to provide, manage and maintain court buildings, enabling justice to be administered to all court users in dignified, suitable and fully equipped buildings.
Many of these buildings have been designated as of local, regional or national importance. They are considered to form part of the architectural heritage of the city or town and as such, are protected structures. The courthouses are generally prominently located and add to the visual character of the towns, as befits such an important public institution, giving to it a sense of history and continuity.