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Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

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Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Supreme court crest (official).svg
Middlesex Guildhall (cropped).jpg
The Middlesex Guildhall in London is the location of the Supreme Court.
Established1 October 2009
JurisdictionUnited Kingdom
LocationMiddlesex Guildhall, Parliament Square, London, England
Coordinates51°30′01″N 0°07′41″W / 51.5004°N 0.1281°W / 51.5004; -0.1281Coordinates: 51°30′01″N 0°07′41″W / 51.5004°N 0.1281°W / 51.5004; -0.1281
Composition methodAppointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, following approval of a recommendation by the Lord Chancellor
Authorized byConstitutional Reform Act 2005 Section 23(1)
Appeals from
Number of positions12
Websitewww.supremecourt.uk Edit this at Wikidata
President
CurrentlyLord Reed of Allermuir
Since13 January 2020
Deputy President
CurrentlyLord Hodge
Since27 January 2020

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (initialism: UKSC or the acronym: SCOTUK) is the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom for all civil cases, and for criminal cases originating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. As the United Kingdom’s highest appellate court for these matters, it hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.[1]

The Court usually sits in the Middlesex Guildhall in Westminster, though it can sit elsewhere and has, for example, sat in the Edinburgh City Chambers,[2] the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast,[3] the Tŷ Hywel Building in Cardiff,[4] and the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.[5]

The United Kingdom has a doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty,[6] so the Supreme Court is much more limited in its powers of judicial review than the constitutional or supreme courts of some other countries. It cannot overturn any primary legislation made by Parliament. However, as with any court in the UK, it can overturn secondary legislation if, for an example, that legislation is found to be ultra vires to the powers in primary legislation allowing it to be made.

Further, under section 4 of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Supreme Court, like some other courts in the United Kingdom, may make a declaration of incompatibility, indicating that it believes that the legislation subject to the declaration is incompatible with one of the rights in the European Convention on Human Rights. Such a declaration can apply to primary or secondary legislation. The legislation is not overturned by the declaration, and neither Parliament nor the government is required to agree with any such declaration. However, if they do accept a declaration, ministers can exercise powers under section 10 of the Human Rights Act to amend the legislation by statutory instrument to remove the incompatibility or ask Parliament to amend the legislation.

As authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23(1),[7] the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom was formally established on 1 October 2009 and is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom.[8] Section 23 of the Constitutional Reform Act limits the number of judges on the Court to 12, though it also allows for this rule to be amended, to further increase the number of judges, if a resolution is passed in both Houses of Parliament.[9]

It assumed the judicial functions of the House of Lords, which had been exercised by the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (commonly called "Law Lords"), the 12 judges appointed as members of the House of Lords to carry out its judicial business as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. Its jurisdiction over devolution matters had previously been exercised by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

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Acronym

Acronym

An acronym is a word or name consisting of parts of the full name's words. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in NATO, but sometimes use syllables, as in Benelux, NAPOCOR, and TRANSCO. They can also be a mixture, as in radar and MIDAS.

Edinburgh City Chambers

Edinburgh City Chambers

Edinburgh City Chambers in Edinburgh, Scotland, is the meeting place of the City of Edinburgh Council and its predecessors, Edinburgh Corporation and Edinburgh District Council. It is a Category A listed building.

Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Manchester Civil Justice Centre

Manchester Civil Justice Centre is a governmental building in Manchester, England. Completed in 2007, it houses Manchester's county court and the Manchester District Registry of the High Court, the city's family proceedings court, the district probate registry, and the regional and area offices of the Court Service.

Judicial review

Judicial review

Judicial review is a process under which executive, legislative and administrative actions are subject to review by the judiciary. A court with authority for judicial review may invalidate laws, acts and governmental actions that are incompatible with a higher authority: an executive decision may be invalidated for being unlawful or a statute may be invalidated for violating the terms of a constitution. Judicial review is one of the checks and balances in the separation of powers: the power of the judiciary to supervise the legislative and executive branches when the latter exceed their authority. The doctrine varies between jurisdictions, so the procedure and scope of judicial review may differ between and within countries.

Declaration of incompatibility

Declaration of incompatibility

A declaration of incompatibility in UK constitutional law is a declaration issued by a United Kingdom judge that a statute is incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 section 4. This is a central part of UK constitutional law. Very few declarations of incompatibility have been issued, in comparison to the number of challenges.

European Convention on Human Rights

European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights is an international convention to protect human rights and political freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953. All Council of Europe member states are party to the Convention and new members are expected to ratify the convention at the earliest opportunity.

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, relevant to UK constitutional law. It provides for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to take over the previous appellate jurisdiction of the Law Lords as well as some powers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and removed the functions of Speaker of the House of Lords and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales from the office of Lord Chancellor.

Government of the United Kingdom

Government of the United Kingdom

The Government of the United Kingdom, officially His Majesty's Government, is the central executive authority of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The government is led by the prime minister who selects all the other ministers. The country has had a Conservative-led government since 2010, with successive prime ministers being the then leader of the Conservative Party. The prime minister and their most senior ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the Cabinet.

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Whilst the House of Lords of the United Kingdom is the upper chamber of Parliament and has government ministers, for many centuries it had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers and for impeachments, and as a court of last resort in the United Kingdom and prior, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of England.

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, commonly known as Law Lords, were judges appointed under the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 to the British House of Lords, as a committee of the House, effectively to exercise the judicial functions of the House of Lords, which included acting as the highest appellate court for most domestic matters.

House of Lords

House of Lords

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England.

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal for the Crown Dependencies, the British Overseas Territories, some Commonwealth countries and a few institutions in the United Kingdom. Established on 14 August 1833 to hear appeals formerly heard by the King-in-Council, the Privy Council formerly acted as the court of last resort for the entire British Empire, other than for the United Kingdom itself.

History

Creation

The creation of a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom was first proposed in a consultation paper published by the Department of Constitutional Affairs in July 2003.[10] Although the paper noted that there had been no criticism of the then-current Law Lords or any indication of an actual bias, it argued that the separation of the judicial functions of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords from the legislative functions of the House of Lords should be made explicit. The paper noted the following concerns:

  1. Whether there was any longer sufficient transparency of independence from the executive and the legislature to give assurance of the independence of the judiciary.[10]
  2. The requirement for the appearance of impartiality and independence limited the ability of the Law Lords to contribute to the work of the House itself, thus reducing the value to both them and the House of their membership.[10]
  3. It was not always understood by the public that judicial decisions of "the House of Lords" were in fact taken by the Appellate Committee and that non-judicial members were never involved in the judgments. Conversely, it was felt that the extent to which the Law Lords themselves had decided to refrain from getting involved in political issues in relation to legislation on which they might later have had to adjudicate was not always appreciated.[10] The first President of the Court, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, claimed that the old system confused people and that with the Supreme Court there would for the first time be a clear separation of powers among the judiciary, the legislature and the executive.[11]
  4. Space within the House of Lords was at a constant premium and a separate supreme court would ease the pressure on the Palace of Westminster.[10]

The main argument against a new Supreme Court was that the previous system had worked well and kept costs down.[12] Reformers expressed concern that this second main example of a mixture of the legislative, judicial and executive might conflict with professed values under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Officials who make or execute laws have an interest in court cases that put those laws to the test. When the state invests judicial authority in those officials or even their day-to-day colleagues, it puts the independence and impartiality of the courts at risk. Consequently, it was hypothesised closely connected decisions of the Law Lords to debates had by friends or on which the Lord Chancellor had expressed a view might be challenged on human-rights grounds on the basis that they had not constituted a fair trial.[13]

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, later President of the Supreme Court, expressed fear that the new court could make itself more powerful than the House of Lords committee it succeeded, saying that there is a real risk of "judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment". Lord Phillips said such an outcome was "a possibility", but was "unlikely".[14]

The reforms were controversial and were brought forward with little consultation but were subsequently extensively debated in Parliament.[15] During 2004, a select committee of the House of Lords scrutinised the arguments for and against setting up a new court.[16] The Government estimated the set-up cost of the Supreme Court at £56.9 million.[17]

Significant cases

The first case heard by the Supreme Court was HM Treasury v Ahmed, which concerned "the separation of powers", according to Phillips, its inaugural President. At issue was the extent to which Parliament has, by the United Nations Act 1946, delegated to the executive the power to legislate. Resolution of this issue depended upon the approach properly to be adopted by the court in interpreting legislation which may affect fundamental rights at common law or under the European Convention on Human Rights.

One of the most important cases presented to the Supreme Court was the joint cases of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland, known as Miller/Cherry. It is one of only two cases that involved the presence of 11 judges (the highest number of judges currently allowed to rule on a case). The case carried a large amount of political tension in the context of the process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union; reactions to the ruling "delighted 'Remainers' but appalled 'Leavers'".[18]

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House of Lords

House of Lords

The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster in London, England.

Nick Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers

Nick Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers

Nicholas Addison Phillips, Baron Phillips of Worth Matravers, is a British former senior judge.

Separation of powers

Separation of powers

Separation of powers refers to the division of a state's government into "branches", each with separate, independent powers and responsibilities, so that the powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches. The typical division into three branches of government, sometimes called the trias politica model, includes a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary. It can be contrasted with the fusion of powers in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems where there can be overlap in membership and functions between different branches, especially the executive and legislative. In most non-authoritarian jurisdictions, however, the judiciary almost never overlaps with the other branches, whether powers in the jurisdiction are separated or fused.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings. Drafted by a UN committee chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt, it was accepted by the General Assembly as Resolution 217 during its third session on 10 December 1948 at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France. Of the 58 members of the United Nations at the time, 48 voted in favour, none against, eight abstained, and two did not vote.

Lord Chancellor

Lord Chancellor

The lord chancellor, formally the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the prime minister. The lord chancellor is appointed by the sovereign on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their Union into the Kingdom of Great Britain, there were separate lord chancellors for the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland; there were lord chancellors of Ireland until 1922.

David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury

David Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury

David Edmond Neuberger, Baron Neuberger of Abbotsbury is an English judge. He served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2012 to 2017. He was a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary until the House of Lords' judicial functions were transferred to the new Supreme Court in 2009, at which point he became Master of the Rolls, the second most senior judge in England and Wales. Neuberger was appointed to the Supreme Court, as its President, in 2012. He now serves as a Non-Permanent Judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the Chair of the High-Level Panel of Legal Experts on Media Freedom.

HM Treasury v Ahmed

HM Treasury v Ahmed

HM Treasury v Ahmed [2010] UKSC 2 is a UK constitutional law and human rights case concerning the United Nations Act 1946 and the powers it grants to the executive to issue terrorism control orders.

United Nations Act 1946

United Nations Act 1946

The United Nations Act 1946 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which enables His Majesty's Government to implement resolutions under Article 41 of the United Nations Charter as Orders in Council. Thus Parliament delegated the power to enact such resolutions without the approval of Parliament. However, the prospective Order must be laid before either Parliament or the Scottish Parliament. A similar mechanism was later used in the European Communities Act 1972 and the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010.

R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland

R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland

R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland, also known as Miller II and Miller/Cherry, were joint landmark constitutional law cases on the limits of the power of royal prerogative to prorogue the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Argued before the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in September 2019, the case concerned whether the advice given by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, to Queen Elizabeth II that Parliament should be prorogued in the prelude to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union was lawful.

Jurisdiction and powers

From the Supreme Court —

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.[1]

For Scottish civil cases decided prior to September 2015, permission to appeal from the Court of Session was not required and any such case can proceed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom if two advocates certify that an appeal is suitable. The entry into force of the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 has essentially brought the procedure for current and future Scottish civil cases into line with England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where permission to appeal is required, either from the Court of Session or from a Justice of the Supreme Court itself.

The Supreme Court's focus is on cases that raise points of law of general public importance. As with the former Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, appeals from many fields of law are likely to be selected for hearing, including commercial disputes, family matters, judicial review claims against public authorities and issues under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Supreme Court only exceptionally hears criminal appeals from the High Court of Justiciary (the criminal appeals court in Scotland) with respect to "devolution issues".

The Supreme Court also determines "devolution issues" (as defined by the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006). These are legal proceedings about the powers of the three devolved administrations—the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Government and Senedd. Devolution issues were previously heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and most are about compliance with rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, brought into national law by the Devolution Acts and the Human Rights Act 1998.

On rare occasions the court may have original jurisdiction, normally in cases relating to contempt of the Supreme Court such as, " Proceedings for Contempt: Mr Tim Crosland"[19] and its appeal case "HM Attorney General v Crosland".

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Faculty of Advocates

Faculty of Advocates

The Faculty of Advocates is an independent body of lawyers who have been admitted to practise as advocates before the courts of Scotland, especially the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary. The Faculty of Advocates is a constituent part of the College of Justice and is based in Edinburgh.

Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom are the judges of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom other than the president and the deputy president. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the United Kingdom for civil and criminal matters in the jurisdictions of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Judges are appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister, who receives recommendations from a selection commission.

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Whilst the House of Lords of the United Kingdom is the upper chamber of Parliament and has government ministers, for many centuries it had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers and for impeachments, and as a court of last resort in the United Kingdom and prior, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of England.

High Court of Justiciary

High Court of Justiciary

The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland. The High Court is both a trial court and a court of appeal. As a trial court, the High Court sits on circuit at Parliament House or in the adjacent former Sheriff Court building in the Old Town in Edinburgh, or in dedicated buildings in Glasgow and Aberdeen. The High Court sometimes sits in various smaller towns in Scotland, where it uses the local sheriff court building. As an appeal court, the High Court sits only in Edinburgh. On one occasion the High Court of Justiciary sat outside Scotland, at Zeist in the Netherlands during the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, as the Scottish Court in the Netherlands. At Zeist the High Court sat both as a trial court, and an appeal court for the initial appeal by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Scotland Act 1998

Scotland Act 1998

The Scotland Act 1998 (c. 46) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which legislated for the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament with tax varying powers and the Scottish Government. It was one of the most significant constitutional pieces of legislation to be passed by the UK Parliament between the passing of the European Communities Act in 1972 and the European Union (Withdrawal) Act in 2018 and is the most significant piece of legislation to affect Scotland since the Acts of Union in 1707 which ratified the Treaty of Union and led to the disbandment of the Parliament of Scotland.

Northern Ireland Act 1998

Northern Ireland Act 1998

The Northern Ireland Act 1998 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which allowed Westminster to devolve power to Northern Ireland, after decades of direct rule.

Government of Wales Act 2006

Government of Wales Act 2006

The Government of Wales Act 2006 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that reformed the then-National Assembly for Wales and allows further powers to be granted to it more easily. The Act creates a system of government with a separate executive drawn from and accountable to the legislature. It is part of a series of laws legislating Welsh devolution.

Northern Ireland Executive

Northern Ireland Executive

The Northern Ireland Executive is the devolved government of Northern Ireland, an administrative branch of the legislature – the Northern Ireland Assembly. It is answerable to the assembly and was initially established according to the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which followed the Good Friday Agreement. The executive is referred to in the legislation as the Executive Committee of the assembly and is an example of consociationalist ("power-sharing") government.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Northern Ireland Assembly

The Northern Ireland Assembly, often referred to by the metonym Stormont, is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive. It sits at Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast.

Scottish Government

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government is the devolved government of Scotland. It was formed in 1999 as the Scottish Executive following the 1997 referendum on Scottish devolution.

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

The Scottish Parliament is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Scotland. Located in the Holyrood area of the capital city, Edinburgh, it is frequently referred to by the metonym Holyrood. The Parliament is a democratically elected body comprising 129 members known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), elected for five-year terms under the additional member system: 73 MSPs represent individual geographical constituencies elected by the plurality (first-past-the-post) system, while a further 56 are returned as list members from eight additional member regions. Each region elects seven party-list MSPs. Each region elects 15 to 17 MSPs in total. The most recent general election to the Parliament was held on 6 May 2021, with the Scottish National Party winning a plurality.

Senedd

Senedd

The Senedd, officially known as the Welsh Parliament in English and Senedd Cymru in Welsh, is the devolved, unicameral legislature of Wales. A democratically elected body, it makes laws for Wales, agrees certain taxes and scrutinises the Welsh Government. It is a bilingual institution, with both Welsh and English being the official languages of its business. From its creation in May 1999 until May 2020, the Senedd was known as the National Assembly for Wales.

Panels and sittings

The twelve justices do not all hear every case. Unless there are circumstances requiring a larger panel, a case is usually heard by a panel of five justices.[20] More than five justices may sit on a panel where the case is of "high constitutional importance" or "great public importance"; if the case raises "an important point in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights"; if the case involves a conflict of decisions among the House of Lords, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, or Supreme Court; or if the Court "is being asked to depart, or may decide to depart from" its previous precedent.[20] The composition of panels is ultimately determined by the President.[21]

To avoid a tie, all cases are heard by a panel containing an odd number of justices.[22] Thus, the largest possible panel for a case is 11 justices.[22] To date, there have been only two occasions (both involving matters of major constitutional importance) heard by 11 justices: the case of R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (argued in 2016 and decided in 2017) and the cases of R (Miller) v The Prime Minister and Cherry v Advocate General for Scotland (argued and decided in 2019).[23][24]

Administration

The Supreme Court has a separate administration from the other courts of the United Kingdom, under a Chief Executive who is appointed by the Court's president.[25][26][27]

Other "supreme courts" in the United Kingdom

In Scotland, the High Court of Justiciary, the Court of Session, and the Office of the Accountant of Court make up the College of Justice, and are known as the Supreme Courts of Scotland.[28] The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland.

Prior to 1 October 2009, there were two other courts known as "the supreme court", namely the Supreme Court of England and Wales (known as "the Supreme Court of Judicature", prior to the passing and coming-into-force of the Senior Courts Act 1981), which was created in the 1870s under the Judicature Acts, and the Supreme Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland, both of which consisted of a Court of Appeal, a High Court of Justice and a Crown Court. When the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 came into force these became known as the Senior Courts of England and Wales and the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland respectively.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council also retains jurisdiction over certain matters. By Section 4 of the Judicial Committee Act 1833, the Sovereign may refer any matter whatsoever to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council to provide advice, although this does not confer judicial authority.[29][30]

The judicial functions of the House of Lords have all been abolished, other than the trial of impeachments, a procedure which has been obsolete for 200 years.

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High Court of Justiciary

High Court of Justiciary

The High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court in Scotland. The High Court is both a trial court and a court of appeal. As a trial court, the High Court sits on circuit at Parliament House or in the adjacent former Sheriff Court building in the Old Town in Edinburgh, or in dedicated buildings in Glasgow and Aberdeen. The High Court sometimes sits in various smaller towns in Scotland, where it uses the local sheriff court building. As an appeal court, the High Court sits only in Edinburgh. On one occasion the High Court of Justiciary sat outside Scotland, at Zeist in the Netherlands during the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial, as the Scottish Court in the Netherlands. At Zeist the High Court sat both as a trial court, and an appeal court for the initial appeal by Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Court of Session

Court of Session

The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland and constitutes part of the College of Justice; the supreme criminal court of Scotland is the High Court of Justiciary. The Court of Session sits in Parliament House in Edinburgh and is both a trial court and a court of appeal. Decisions of the court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, with the permission of either the Inner House or the Supreme Court. The Court of Session and the local sheriff courts of Scotland have concurrent jurisdiction for all cases with a monetary value in excess of £100,000; the plaintiff is given first choice of court. However, the majority of complex, important, or high value cases are brought in the Court of Session. Cases can be remitted to the Court of Session from the sheriff courts, including the Sheriff Personal Injury Court, at the request of the presiding sheriff. Legal aid, administered by the Scottish Legal Aid Board, is available to persons with little disposable income for cases in the Court of Session.

Office of the Accountant of Court

Office of the Accountant of Court

The Office of the Accountant of Court is a public body which is a constituent part of the Supreme Courts of Scotland. The Accountant of Court is administered by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.

College of Justice

College of Justice

The College of Justice includes the Supreme Courts of Scotland, and its associated bodies.

Senior Courts Act 1981

Senior Courts Act 1981

The Senior Courts Act 1981 (c.54), originally named the Supreme Court Act 1981, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Judicature Acts

Judicature Acts

In the history of the courts of England and Wales, the Judicature Acts were a series of Acts of Parliament, beginning in the 1870s, which aimed to fuse the hitherto split system of courts of England and Wales. The first two Acts were the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873 and the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1875, with a further series of amending acts.

High Court of Justice

High Court of Justice

The High Court of Justice in London, known properly as His Majesty's High Court of Justice in England, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, are the Senior Courts of England and Wales. Its name is abbreviated as EWHC for legal citation purposes.

Crown Court

Crown Court

The Crown Court is the court of first instance of England and Wales responsible for hearing all indictable offences, some either way offences and appeals lied to it by the magistrates' courts. It is one of three Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Impeachment in the United Kingdom

Impeachment in the United Kingdom

Impeachment is a process in which the Parliament of the United Kingdom may prosecute and try individuals, normally holders of public office, for high treason or other crimes and misdemeanours. First used to try William Latimer, 4th Baron Latimer during the English Good Parliament of 1376, it was a rare mechanism whereby Parliament was able to arrest and depose ministers of the Crown. The last impeachment was that of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville in 1806; since then, other forms of democratic scrutiny have been favoured and the process has been considered as an obsolete—but still extant—power of Parliament.

Judges

The court is composed of the President and Deputy President and ten other Justices of the Supreme Court, all with the style of "Justices of the Supreme Court" under section 23(6) of the Constitutional Reform Act.[7] The President and Deputy President of the court are separately appointed to those roles.

The ten Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (Law Lords) holding office on 1 October 2009 became the first judges of the twelve-member Supreme Court.[31] The eleventh place on the Supreme Court was filled by Lord Clarke (formerly the Master of the Rolls), who was the first justice to be appointed directly to the Supreme Court.[32] One of the former Law Lords, Lord Neuberger, was appointed to replace Clarke as Master of the Rolls,[33] and so did not move to the new court. Lord Dyson became the twelfth and final judge of the Supreme Court on 13 April 2010.[34] In 2010, Queen Elizabeth II granted justices who are not peers use of the title Lord or Lady, by warrant under the royal sign-manual.[35][36]

The Senior Law Lord on 1 October 2009, Lord Phillips, became the Supreme Court's first President,[37] and the Second Senior Law Lord, Lord Hope, became the first Deputy President.

On 30 September 2010 Lord Saville became the first justice to retire,[38] followed by Lord Collins on 7 May 2011, although the latter remained as an acting judge until the end of July 2011.

In June 2011 Lord Rodger became the first justice to die in office, after a short illness.[39]

Acting judges

In addition to the twelve permanent judges, the President may request other senior judges drawn from two groups to sit as "acting judges" of the Supreme Court.[40]

  • The first group are those judges who currently hold 'office as a senior territorial judge': judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, judges of the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland and judges of the First or Second Division of the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland.[41]
  • The second group are known as the 'supplementary panel'. The President may approve in writing retired judges' membership of this panel if they are under 75 and are (a) former supreme court justices or (b) former 'senior territorial judges'.[42] A list of those currently appointed is to be found on the Supreme Court website.[43] (The system is similar to senior status in the United States Federal Courts of Appeal, although there are important differences: for example, a judge on the supplementary panel does not receive a salary).

Qualification for appointment

Section 25 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 details the necessary requirements for a person to be eligible for appointment to the Court.[44] A person is qualified for appointment if they have, at any time:

  • held high judicial office for a period of at least 2 years or
  • been a qualified practitioner for at least 15 years.

To hold high judicial office includes; being a High Court Judge of England and Wales, or of Northern Ireland; a Court of Appeal Judge of England and Wales, or of Northern Ireland; or a Judge on the Court of Sessions. A person is a qualified practitioner if they are an advocate in Scotland or a solicitor entitled to appear in the Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary; or a member of the Bar of Northern Ireland or a solicitor of the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.[45]

Appointment process

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 makes provision for a new appointment process for Justices of the Supreme Court. An independent selection commission is to be formed when vacancies arise. This is to be composed of the President of the Supreme Court (the chair), another senior UK judge (not a Supreme Court Justice), and a member of the Judicial Appointments Commission of England and Wales, the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission. By law, at least one of these cannot be a lawyer. However, there is a similar but separate commission to appoint the next President of the Supreme Court, which is chaired by one of the non-lawyer members and features another Supreme Court Justice in the place of the President. Both of these commissions are convened by the Lord Chancellor.[46] In October 2007, the Ministry of Justice announced that the appointment process would be adopted on a voluntary basis for appointments of Lords of Appeal in Ordinary.[47]

The commission selects one person for the vacancy and notifies the Lord Chancellor of its choice. The Lord Chancellor then either

  • approves the commission's selection
  • rejects the commission's selection, or
  • asks the commission to reconsider its selection.

If the Lord Chancellor approves the person selected by the commission, the Prime Minister must then recommend that person to the Monarch for appointment.[48]

New judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation do not necessarily receive peerages. Following a Royal Warrant dated 10 December 2010, all Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom not holding a peerage are entitled to the judicial courtesy title of Lord or Lady and retain this style for life.[49][50]

The President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court are appointed to those roles rather than being the most senior by tenure in office.

List of current judges

The most recent to join the court is Lord Richards of Camberwell, who joined on 3 October 2022 in place of Lady Arden of Heswall. In order of seniority, they are as follows:

Portrait Name Born Alma mater Invested Mandatory
retirement
Prior senior judicial roles
Lord Reed 2022 (cropped).jpg The Lord Reed
of Allermuir

(President)
7 September 1956
(age 66)
University of Edinburgh School of Law
Balliol College, Oxford
6 February 2012 7 September 2031 Senator of the College of Justice:
Inner House (2008–2012)
Outer House (1998–2008)
Lord Hodge (cropped).jpg Lord Hodge
(Deputy President)
19 May 1953
(age 69)
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
University of Edinburgh School of Law
1 October 2013 19 May 2028 Senator of the College of Justice,
Outer House (2005–2013)
Lord Lloyd-Jones (cropped).jpg Lord Lloyd-Jones 13 January 1952
(age 71)
Downing College, Cambridge 2 October 2017 13 January 2027 Lord Justice of Appeal (2012–2017)
Justice of the High Court, QBD (2005–2012)
Lord Briggs (cropped).jpg Lord Briggs
of Westbourne
23 December 1954
(age 68)
Magdalen College, Oxford 2 October 2017 23 December 2029 Lord Justice of Appeal (2013–2017)
Justice of the High Court, CD (2006–2013)
Lord Kitchin (cropped).jpg Lord Kitchin 30 April 1955
(age 67)
Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge 1 October 2018 30 April 2030 Lord Justice of Appeal (2011–2018)
Justice of the High Court, CD (2005–2011)
Lord Sales 2019.jpg Lord Sales 11 February 1962
(age 61)
Churchill College, Cambridge
Worcester College, Oxford
11 January 2019 11 February 2037 Lord Justice of Appeal (2014–2018)
Justice of the High Court, CD (2008–2014)
Lord Hamblen of Kersey 2020.jpg Lord Hamblen
of Kersey
23 September 1957
(age 65)
St John's College, Oxford
Harvard Law School
13 January 2020 23 September 2032 Lord Justice of Appeal (2016–2020)
Justice of the High Court, QBD (2008–2016)
Lord Leggatt 2020.jpg Lord Leggatt 12 November 1957
(age 65)
King's College, Cambridge
Harvard University
City Law School
21 April 2020 12 November 2032 Lord Justice of Appeal (2018–2020)
Justice of the High Court, QBD (2012–2018)
Lord Burrows 2020.jpg Lord Burrows 17 April 1957
(age 65)
Brasenose College, Oxford
Harvard Law School
2 June 2020 17 April 2032 None (First Justice to be appointed direct from academia)[51]
Lord Stephens of Creevyloughgare 2020.jpg Lord Stephens
of Creevyloughgare
28 December 1954
(age 68)
University of Manchester 1 October 2020 28 December 2029 Lord Justice of Appeal (NI) (2017–2020)
Justice of the High Court (NI) (2007–2017)
Lady-justice-rose.jpg Lady Rose
of Colmworth
13 April 1960
(age 62)
Newnham College, Cambridge
Brasenose College, Oxford
13 April 2021 13 April 2035 Lady Justice of Appeal (2019–2021)
Justice of the High Court, CD (2013–2019)
No image.jpg Lord Richards
of Camberwell
9 June 1951
(age 71)
Trinity College, Cambridge 3 October 2022 9 June 2026 Lord Justice of Appeal (2015-21)
Justice of the High Court, CD (2003-2015)


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Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom are the judges of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom other than the president and the deputy president. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the United Kingdom for civil and criminal matters in the jurisdictions of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Judges are appointed by the King on the advice of the Prime Minister, who receives recommendations from a selection commission.

Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is the second most senior judge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, after the President of the Supreme Court. The office is equivalent to the now-defunct position of Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, also known previously as the Second Senior Law Lord, who was the second highest-ranking Lord of Appeal in Ordinary.

Master of the Rolls

Master of the Rolls

The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Head of Civil Justice. As a judge, the Master of the Rolls is second in seniority in England and Wales only to the Lord Chief Justice. The position dates from at least 1286, although it is believed that the office probably existed earlier than that.

John Dyson, Lord Dyson

John Dyson, Lord Dyson

John Anthony Dyson, Lord Dyson, is a former British judge and barrister. He was Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Justice, the second most senior judge in England and Wales, from 2012 to 2016, and a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2010 to 2012. He was the first justice to be appointed who was not a peer.

Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 sovereign states during her lifetime and was head of state of 15 realms at the time of her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days was the longest of any British monarch and the longest verified reign of any female monarch in history.

David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead

David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead

James Arthur David Hope, Baron Hope of Craighead, is a retired Scottish judge who served as the first Deputy President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2009 until his retirement in 2013, having previously been the Second Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary. He served as Convenor of the Crossbench peers in the House of Lords from 2015 to 2019.

Mark Saville, Baron Saville of Newdigate

Mark Saville, Baron Saville of Newdigate

Mark Oliver Saville, Baron Saville of Newdigate, is a British judge and former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Lawrence Collins, Baron Collins of Mapesbury

Lawrence Collins, Baron Collins of Mapesbury

Lawrence Antony Collins, Baron Collins of Mapesbury is a British judge and former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. He was also appointed to the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong on 11 April 2011 as a non-permanent judge from other common law jurisdictions. He was formerly a partner in the British law firm Herbert Smith. He is now a full time international arbitrator, Chair of Laws at UCL Faculty of Laws, and continues to sit as a member of the HKFCA.

Alan Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry

Alan Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry

Alan Ferguson Rodger, Baron Rodger of Earlsferry was a Scottish academic, lawyer, and Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

Courts of Northern Ireland

Courts of Northern Ireland

The courts of Northern Ireland are the civil and criminal courts responsible for the administration of justice in Northern Ireland: they are constituted and governed by the law of Northern Ireland.

Inner House

Inner House

The Inner House is the senior part of the Court of Session, the supreme civil court in Scotland; the Outer House forms the junior part of the Court of Session. It is a court of appeal and a court of first instance. The chief justice is the Lord President, with their deputy being the Lord Justice Clerk, and judges of the Inner House are styled Senators of the College of Justice or Lords of Council and Session. Criminal appeals in Scotland are handled by the High Court of Justiciary sitting as the Court of Appeal.

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Constitutional Reform Act 2005

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, relevant to UK constitutional law. It provides for a Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to take over the previous appellate jurisdiction of the Law Lords as well as some powers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and removed the functions of Speaker of the House of Lords and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales from the office of Lord Chancellor.

Overseas work

Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal

The UK Supreme Court has since its inception sent some of its justices to sit on Hong Kong's top court, the Court of Final Appeal.[52] This practice was established when the Court of Final Appeal was first set up in 1997, and before the founding of the UK Supreme Court, when the House of Lords was still the final appellate court in the UK.[53] When British justices sit on the top court of Hong Kong, they are required by law to take the judicial oath with the pledge of allegiance to the Hong Kong SAR of the People's Republic of China.[54] Because of that, they are not "overseas judges" as many mistakenly assume.[55][56] They become local Hong Kong judges themselves.[57] Along with their oaths taken to be justices of the UK Supreme Court,[58] these judges owe a double allegiance and serve on the top courts of both jurisdictions at the same time.

The participation of UK Supreme Court's justices in Hong Kong's judiciary is highly welcomed by the Hong Kong government because it helps bolster the international reputation of the courts in Hong Kong.[59] However, there have been calls advocating the discontinuation of this practice since the implementation of the controversial national security law in Hong Kong by China in July 2020.[60][61] More specifically, members from both Houses of Parliament across the political spectrum have on various occasions either called for the termination of this practice or questioned the appropriateness of it.[62][63][64][65][66]

In June 2021, Baroness Brenda Hale, former president of the UK Supreme Court, announced her decision not to seek reappointment on the Hong Kong court after the end of her term in July while mentioning the impact of the national security law.[67] She became the first senior British judge to quit Hong Kong's top court after the enactment of the security law. Amid the controversy, in August 2021, Lord Reed issued a statement certifying that Hong Kong's judiciary "continues to act largely independently of government".[68] However, about three months later, the US-China Commission submitted its annual report to US Congress detailing China's situation.[69] In the report, not only did the Commission explicitly state that the independence of Hong Kong's judiciary existed “in name only”, in direct conflict with Lord Reed's certification, but also questioned whether or not overseas judges, including British judges, serving on Hong Kong's top court could still protect the rule of law in Hong Kong.[70]

In a statement issued on 30 March 2022, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK Government could no longer endorse British current judges sitting on the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, saying to do otherwise "would risk legitimising oppression".[71] Soon after the government's announcement, on the same day, the president and deputy president of the UK Supreme Court, Lord Reed and Lord Hodge, tendered their resignations as judges of the Hong Kong court.[72] As of 30 March 2022, six retired British justices continue to sit on Hong Kong's top court.[52]

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Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)

Court of Final Appeal (Hong Kong)

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal is the final appellate court of Hong Kong. It was established on 1 July 1997, upon the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, replacing the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council as the highest judicial institution under Hong Kong law. As defined in Articles 19 and 85 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, the Court of Final Appeal "exercises judicial power in the Region independently and free from any interference." The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance and the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Rules set out the detailed functions and procedures of the court.

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Judicial functions of the House of Lords

Whilst the House of Lords of the United Kingdom is the upper chamber of Parliament and has government ministers, for many centuries it had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers and for impeachments, and as a court of last resort in the United Kingdom and prior, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of England.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a city and special administrative region of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China. With 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Hong Kong is also a major global financial centre and one of the most developed cities in the world.

China

China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population exceeding 1.4 billion, slightly ahead of India. China spans the equivalent of five time zones and borders fourteen countries by land, the most of any country in the world, tied with Russia. With an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third largest country by total land area. The country consists of 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two special administrative regions. The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and largest financial center is Shanghai.

Government of Hong Kong

Government of Hong Kong

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, commonly known as the Hong Kong Government or HKSAR Government, is the executive authorities of Hong Kong. It was formed on 1 July 1997 in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1983, an international treaty lodged at the United Nations. This government replaced the former British Hong Kong Government (1842–1997). The Chief Executive and the principal officials, nominated by the chief executive, are appointed by the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The Government Secretariat is headed by the Chief Secretary of Hong Kong, who is the most senior principal official of the Government. The Chief Secretary and the other secretaries jointly oversee the administration of Hong Kong, give advice to the Chief Executive as members of the Executive Council, and are accountable for their actions and policies to the Chief Executive and the Legislative Council.

Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong national security law

The Hong Kong national security law, officially the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a piece of national security legislation concerning Hong Kong, enacted under the National People's Congress decision on Hong Kong national security legislation. It was passed on 30 June 2020 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress as a means of resolving the anti-extradition bill protests instigated by a bill proposed in 2019 to enable extradition to other territories including the mainland, and came into force the same day.

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond

Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond

Brenda Marjorie Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, is a British judge who served as President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom from 2017 until her retirement in 2020, and serves as a member of the House of Lords as a Lord Temporal.

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is equivalent to the now-defunct position of Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, also known as the Senior Law Lord, who was the highest ranking among the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. The President is not the most senior judge of the judiciary in England and Wales; that position belongs to the Lord Chief Justice. The current President is Robert Reed, since 13 January 2020.

Robert Reed, Baron Reed of Allermuir

Robert Reed, Baron Reed of Allermuir

Robert John Reed, Baron Reed of Allermuir, is a British judge who has been President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom since January 2020. He was the principal judge in the Commercial Court in Scotland before being promoted to the Inner House of the Court of Session in 2008. He is an authority on human rights law in Scotland and elsewhere; he served as one of the UK's ad hoc judges at the European Court of Human Rights. He was also a Non-Permanent Judge of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong.

Judiciary of Hong Kong

Judiciary of Hong Kong

The Judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is the judicial branch of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Under the Basic Law of Hong Kong, it exercises the judicial power of the Region and is independent of the executive and legislative branches of the Government. The courts in Hong Kong hear and adjudicate all prosecutions and civil disputes, including all public and private law matters.

United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission

United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission is an independent agency of the United States government. It was established on October 30, 2000, through the Floyd D. Spence National Defense Authorization Act.

United States Congress

United States Congress

The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is bicameral, composed of a lower body, the House of Representatives, and an upper body, the Senate. It meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a governor's appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators and 435 representatives. The U.S. vice president has a vote in the Senate only when senators are evenly divided. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members.

Building

Bench and inscription outside UK Supreme Court, "Lines for the Supreme Court" by Andrew Motion
Bench and inscription outside UK Supreme Court, "Lines for the Supreme Court" by Andrew Motion
Court 1 in the Supreme Court building
Court 1 in the Supreme Court building

The court is housed in Middlesex Guildhall—which it shares with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council—in the City of Westminster.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 gave time for a suitable building to be found and fitted out before the Law Lords moved out of the Houses of Parliament, where they had previously used a series of rooms in the Palace of Westminster.[73]

After a lengthy survey of suitable sites, including Somerset House, the Government announced that the new court would be at the Middlesex Guildhall, in Parliament Square, Westminster. That decision was examined by the Constitutional Affairs Committee,[74] and the grant of planning permission by Westminster City Council for refurbishment works was challenged in a judicial review by the conservation group Save Britain's Heritage.[75] It was also reported that English Heritage had been put under great pressure to approve the alterations.[76] Feilden + Mawson, supported by Foster & Partners, were the appointed architects, with Kier Group appointed as main contractor.[77]

The building had been used as the Middlesex Quarter Sessions House, and the headquarters of the Middlesex County Council. Following the abolition of the council in 1965, its former council chamber became a courtroom, which is now Court One, the principal courtroom. In 1972 the building became a Crown Court centre.[78]

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Middlesex Guildhall

Middlesex Guildhall

The Middlesex Guildhall is the home of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. It stands on the south-west corner of Parliament Square in London. It is a Grade II* listed building.

City of Westminster

City of Westminster

Westminster is a city and borough in Inner London. It is the site of the United Kingdom's Houses of Parliament and much of the British government. It occupies a large area of central Greater London, including most of the West End. Many London landmarks are within the borough, including Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, Westminster Cathedral, 10 Downing Street, and Trafalgar Square.

Somerset House

Somerset House

Somerset House is a large Neoclassical complex situated on the south side of the Strand in central London, overlooking the River Thames, just east of Waterloo Bridge. The Georgian era quadrangle was built on the site of a Tudor palace originally belonging to the Duke of Somerset. The present Somerset House was designed by Sir William Chambers, begun in 1776, and was further extended with Victorian era outer wings to the east and west in 1831 and 1856 respectively. The site of Somerset House stood directly on the River Thames until the Victoria Embankment parkway was built in the late 1860s.

Parliament Square

Parliament Square

Parliament Square is a square at the northwest end of the Palace of Westminster in the City of Westminster in central London. Laid out in the 19th century, it features a large open green area in the centre with trees to its west, and it contains twelve statues of statesmen and other notable individuals.

Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council is the local authority for the City of Westminster in Greater London, England. The city is divided into 20 wards, each electing three councillors. The council is currently composed of 31 Labour Party members and 23 Conservative Party members. The council was created by the London Government Act 1963 and replaced three local authorities: Paddington Metropolitan Borough Council, St Marylebone Metropolitan Borough Council and Westminster Borough Council.

Save Britain's Heritage

Save Britain's Heritage

Save Britain's Heritage is a British charity, created in 1975 by a group of journalists, historians, architects, and planners to campaign publicly for endangered historic buildings. It is also active on the broader issues of preservation policy. SAVE Britain's Heritage is a registered charity governed by a board of trustees.

English Heritage

English Heritage

English Heritage is a charity that manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. These include prehistoric sites, medieval castles, Roman forts and country houses.

Kier Group

Kier Group

Kier Group plc is a British construction, services and property group active in building and civil engineering, support services, and the Private Finance Initiative.

Middlesex County Council

Middlesex County Council

Middlesex County Council was the principal local government body in the administrative county of Middlesex from 1889 to 1965.

Crown Court

Crown Court

The Crown Court is the court of first instance of England and Wales responsible for hearing all indictable offences, some either way offences and appeals lied to it by the magistrates' courts. It is one of three Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Badge

The Blake emblem with stylised depictions of the four floral emblems.
The Blake emblem with stylised depictions of the four floral emblems.
Blake's carpet for the Supreme Court buildings
Blake's carpet for the Supreme Court buildings

The official badge of the Supreme Court was granted by the College of Arms in October 2008.[79] It comprises both the Greek letter omega (representing finality) and the symbol of Libra (symbolising the scales of justice), in addition to the four floral emblems of the United Kingdom: a Tudor rose, representing England, conjoined with the leaves of a leek, representing Wales; a flax (or 'lint') blossom for Northern Ireland; and a thistle, representing Scotland.[80][81]

Two adapted versions of its official badge are used by the Supreme Court. One features the words "The Supreme Court" and the letter omega in black (in the official badge granted by the College of Arms, the interior of the Latin and Greek letters are gold and white, respectively), and displays a simplified version of the crown (also in black) and larger, stylised versions of the floral emblems; this modified version of the badge is featured on the new Supreme Court website,[82] as well as in the forms that will be used by the Supreme Court.[83] A further variant omits the crown entirely and is featured prominently throughout the building.[84][81]

Another emblem is formed from a more abstract set of depictions of the four floral emblems and is used in the carpets of the Middlesex Guildhall designed by Sir Peter Blake, creator of such works as the cover of The Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.[85]

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College of Arms

College of Arms

The College of Arms, or Heralds' College, is a royal corporation consisting of professional officers of arms, with jurisdiction over England, Wales, Northern Ireland and some Commonwealth realms. The heralds are appointed by the British Sovereign and are delegated authority to act on behalf of the Crown in all matters of heraldry, the granting of new coats of arms, genealogical research and the recording of pedigrees. The College is also the official body responsible for matters relating to the flying of flags on land, and it maintains the official registers of flags and other national symbols. Though a part of the Royal Household of the United Kingdom, the College is self-financed, unsupported by any public funds.

Omega

Omega

Omega is the twenty-fourth and final letter in the Greek alphabet. In the Greek numeric system/isopsephy (gematria), it has a value of 800. The word literally means "great O", as opposed to omicron, which means "little O".

Libra (astrology)

Libra (astrology)

Libra (♎︎) is the seventh astrological sign in the zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. The Sun transits this sign on average between September 22 and October 23. The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus. Libra is the only zodiac sign that is represented by an object; with the other eleven signs represented by either an animal or mythological character.

Tudor rose

Tudor rose

The Tudor rose is the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England and takes its name and origins from the House of Tudor, which united the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The Tudor rose consists of five white inner petals, representing the House of York, and five red outer petals to represent the House of Lancaster.

Leek

Leek

The leek is a vegetable, a cultivar of Allium ampeloprasum, the broadleaf wild leek. The edible part of the plant is a bundle of leaf sheaths that is sometimes erroneously called a stem or stalk. The genus Allium also contains the onion, garlic, shallot, scallion, chive, and Chinese onion. Three closely related vegetables, elephant garlic, kurrat and Persian leek or tareh, are also cultivars of A. ampeloprasum, although different in their uses as food.

Flax

Flax

Flax, also known as common flax or linseed, is a flowering plant, Linum usitatissimum, in the family Linaceae. It is cultivated as a food and fiber crop in regions of the world with temperate climates. Textiles made from flax are known in Western countries as linen and are traditionally used for bed sheets, underclothes, and table linen. Its oil is known as linseed oil. In addition to referring to the plant, the word "flax" may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. The plant species is known only as a cultivated plant and appears to have been domesticated just once from the wild species Linum bienne, called pale flax. The plants called "flax" in New Zealand are, by contrast, members of the genus Phormium.

Thistle

Thistle

Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterised by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the family Asteraceae. Prickles can also occur all over the plant – on the stem and on the flat parts of the leaves. These prickles are an adaptation that protects the plant from being eaten by herbivores. Typically, an involucre with a clasping shape similar to a cup or urn subtends each of a thistle's flower heads. The typically feathery pappus of a ripe thistle flower is known as thistle-down.

Peter Blake (artist)

Peter Blake (artist)

Sir Peter Thomas Blake is an English pop artist. He co-created the sleeve design for the Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. His other works include the covers for two of The Who's albums, the cover of the Band Aid single "Do They Know It's Christmas?", and the Live Aid concert poster. Blake also designed the 2012 Brit Award statuette.

The Beatles

The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock 'n' roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band also explored music styles ranging from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era's youth and sociocultural movements.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967, Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the roles of sound composition, extended form, psychedelic imagery, record sleeves, and the producer in popular music. The album had an immediate cross-generational impact and was associated with numerous touchstones of the era's youth culture, such as fashion, drugs, mysticism, and a sense of optimism and empowerment. Critics lauded the album for its innovations in songwriting, production and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for reflecting the interests of contemporary youth and the counterculture.

Source: "Supreme Court of the United Kingdom", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 10th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Court_of_the_United_Kingdom.

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See also
References
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  2. ^ 'Supreme Court to sit in Scotland': Press release from the Supreme Court, 1 March 2017
  3. ^ 'UK Supreme Court bound for Northern Ireland': Press release from the Supreme Court, 27 November 2017
  4. ^ UK Supreme Court to sit in Wales this summer': Press release from the Supreme Court, 1 March 2017
  5. ^ "The Supreme Court has relocated to Manchester until Thursday. Why should you care?". The Mill. 7 March 2023. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  6. ^ "Parliamentary Sovereignty". GOV.UK. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (c. 4), Part 3, Section 23". The National Archives (United Kingdom). 24 March 2005. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Departments, agencies and public bodies". GOV.UK. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  9. ^ "2005 c.4 Part 3. Section 23". GOV.UK. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Constitutional Reform: A Supreme Court for the United Kingdom". Department of Constitutional Affairs. July 2003. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "New Supreme Court opens with media barred". The Daily Telegraph. London. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010. For the first time, we have a clear separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive in the United Kingdom. This is important. It emphasises the independence of the judiciary, clearly separating those who make the law from those who administer it.
  12. ^ Wakeham report 2000, Chapter 9, Recommendation 57.
  13. ^ "The Supreme Court is an unnecessary attack on the constitution". The Daily Telegraph. London. 1 October 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2009. Retrieved 24 May 2010. The Government argued that there must be a separation in order to comply with Article Six of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees a fair trial.
  14. ^ Rozenberg, Joshua (8 September 2009). "Fear over UK Supreme Court impact". BBC News.
  15. ^ A. Le Sueur, "From Appellate Committee to Supreme Court: A Narrative", ch. 5 in L. Blom-Cooper, G. Drewry and B. Dickson (eds.),The Judicial House of Lords (Oxford University Press, 2009); Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17/2009. SSRN 1374357
  16. ^ "House of Lords – Constitutional Reform Bill – First Report". UK Parliament.
  17. ^ "Written Answer of the Ministry of Justice to question posed by Lord Steinberg (Col. WA102)". Lords Hansard. 26 March 2008.
  18. ^ Constantina P. Tridimas and George Tridimas (April 2020). "Is the UK Supreme Court rogue to un-prorogue Parliament?" European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pp. 205–225.
  19. ^ "Proceedings for Contempt: Mr Tim Crosland - the Supreme Court".
  20. ^ a b "Panel numbers criteria". Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
  21. ^ Court, The Supreme. "Information Pack – Vacancy for President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom" (PDF). www.supremecourt.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
  22. ^ a b Dominic Casciani. "What is the UK Supreme Court?". BBC News.
  23. ^ The 11 Supreme Court judges who ruled on UK's Brexit appeal, BBC News (24 January 2017).
  24. ^ Owen Bowcott, Supreme court to hear claims suspension of parliament is unlawful, The Guardian (16 September 2019).
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