Nine Courts is a general term referring to nine service agencies in imperial China from the Northern Qi dynasty (550–577) to the Qing dynasty (1636–1912). Headed by the Nine Chamberlains, the offices were subordinate to the Three Departments and Six Ministries, mostly ceremonial in nature and held a fair amount of power. During the Ming dynasty, the heads of the nine court transitioned away from referring to the nine courts, but to the Six Ministries, the Censorate, the Office of Transmission, and the Grand Court of Revision. The number of courts was not always nine throughout history.
The nine courts throughout most of history were: