A court clerk (British English clerk to the court; American English clerk of the court or clerk of court) is an officer of the court whose responsibilities include maintaining records of a court. Another duty is to administer oaths to witnesses, jurors, and grand jurors.
In the magistrates' courts of England and Wales, where the bench will usually have no legal qualifications, the court clerk will be legally qualified. The magistrates decide on the facts at issue; the clerk advises them on the law relating to the case.
Clerks of court can be found at every level of the Courts of Scotland, with a legally qualified clerk acting as legal adviser to justices of the peace in justice of the peace courts. In the sheriff courts the clerk is known as a sheriff clerk, and the sheriff clerks are responsible for the administration and running of all cases in the court. Clerks also support and administer the Court of Session and High Court of Justiciary, with the Principal Clerk of Session and Justiciary responsible for the administration of the Supreme Courts of Scotland and for directing their associated staff.
In federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals, the various United States District Courts and United States Bankruptcy courts and other Article III courts all employ a "clerk of court" who is the executive hired by the board of judges of the court to carry out the administration of the court. Among the clerk's core duties are the maintenance of the records of the court, the custody and administration of the funds received by and dispensed from the court, the oversight of non-judicial personnel, and the provision of services to the judges of the court.
A legal adviser in the court gives advice on the law and makes sure the magistrates follow the right procedures.
Day-to-day responsibility for judicial administration rests with each individual court.