|Supreme Court of the United Kingdom|
|Established||1 October 2009|
|Location||Middlesex Guildhall, Parliament Square, London, England|
|Composition method||Appointed by the Monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, following approval of a recommendation by the Secretary of State for Justice|
|Authorized by||Constitutional Reform Act 2005 Section 23(1)|
|Number of positions||Limited to 12|
|Since||13 January 2020|
|Since||27 January 2020|
The Supreme Court (initialism: UKSC or the acronym: SCOTUK) is the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom 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, including disputes relating to devolution.
The Court usually sits in the Middlesex Guildhall in Westminster, though can sit elsewhere and has, for example, sat in the Edinburgh City Chambers,the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast, and the Tŷ Hywel Building in Cardiff.
The United Kingdom has a doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty,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),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. 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.
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.
The current President of the Supreme Court is Lord Reed.
The creation of a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom was first mooted in a consultation paper published by the Department of Constitutional Affairs in July 2003.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:
The main argument against a new Supreme Court was that the previous system had worked well and kept costs down.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.
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".
The reforms were controversial and were brought forward with little consultation but were subsequently extensively debated in Parliament. million.During 2004, a select committee of the House of Lords scrutinised the arguments for and against setting up a new court. The Government estimated the set-up cost of the Supreme Court at £56.9
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'".
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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.
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 Cymru. 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.
All 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.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. The composition of panels is ultimately determined by the President.
To avoid a tie, all cases are heard by a panel containing an odd number of justices.Thus, the largest possible panel for a case is 11 justices. 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).
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.
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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".
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.
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.
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.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.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. One of the former Law Lords, Lord Neuberger, was appointed to replace Clarke as Master of the Rolls, 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. 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.
The Senior Law Lord on 1 October 2009, Lord Phillips, became the Supreme Court's first President,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,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.
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.
Section 25 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 details the necessary requirements for a person to be eligible for appointment to the Court.A person is qualified for appointment if they have, at any time:
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.
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 Secretary of State for Justice (Lord Chancellor).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.
The commission selects one person for the vacancy and notifies the Secretary of State for Justice of its choice. The Secretary of State for Justice then either
If the Secretary of State for Justice approves the person selected by the commission, the Prime Minister must then recommend that person to the Monarch for appointment.
New judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation will not necessarily receive peerages; however, they are given the courtesy title of Lord or Lady upon appointment.The President and Deputy President are appointed to those roles rather than being the most senior by tenure in office.
There are currently 12 judges. The most recent Justice to join the court is Lady Rose of Colmworth, who was invested on 13 April 2021 following the retirement of Lady Black of Derwent. In order of seniority, they are as follows:
|Prior senior judicial roles|
| The Lord Reed|
|7 September 1956|
| University of Edinburgh School of Law |
Balliol College, Oxford
|6 February 2012||7 September 2026|| Senator of the College of Justice:|
Inner House (2008–2012)
Outer House (1998–2008)
| Lord Hodge |
|19 May 1953|
| Corpus Christi College, Cambridge |
University of Edinburgh School of Law
|1 October 2013||19 May 2023|| Senator of the College of Justice,|
Outer House (2005–2013)
|Lord Lloyd-Jones||13 January 1952|
|Downing College, Cambridge||2 October 2017||13 January 2022|| Lord Justice of Appeal (2012–2017)|
Justice of the High Court, QBD (2005–2012)
| Lord Briggs|
|23 December 1954|
|Magdalen College, Oxford||2 October 2017||23 December 2024|| Lord Justice of Appeal (2013–2017)|
Justice of the High Court, CD (2006–2013)
| Lady Arden|
|23 January 1947|
| Girton College, Cambridge |
Harvard Law School
|1 October 2018||23 January 2022|| Lady Justice of Appeal (2000–2018)|
Justice of the High Court, CD (1993–2000)
|Lord Kitchin||30 April 1955|
|Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge||1 October 2018||30 April 2025|| Lord Justice of Appeal (2011–2018)|
Justice of the High Court, CD (2005–2011)
|Lord Sales||11 February 1962|
| Churchill College, Cambridge |
Worcester College, Oxford
|11 January 2019||11 February 2032|| Lord Justice of Appeal (2014–2018)|
Justice of the High Court, CD (2008–2014)
| Lord Hamblen|
|23 September 1957|
| St John's College, Oxford |
Harvard Law School
|13 January 2020||23 September 2027|| Lord Justice of Appeal (2016–2020)|
Justice of the High Court, QBD (2008–2016)
|Lord Leggatt||12 November 1957|
| King's College, Cambridge |
City Law School
|21 April 2020||12 November 2027||Lord Justice of Appeal (2018–2020)|
|Lord Burrows||17 April 1957|
| Brasenose College, Oxford |
Harvard Law School
|2 June 2020||17 April 2027||None (First Justice to be appointed direct from academia)|
| Lord Stephens|
|28 December 1954|
|University of Manchester||1 October 2020||28 December 2024|| Lord Justice of Appeal (NI) (2017–2020)|
Justice of the High Court (NI) (2007–2017)
|Lady Rose of Colmworth||13 April 1960|
| Newnham College, Cambridge |
Brasenose College, Oxford
|13 April 2021||13 April 2030|| Lady Justice of Appeal (2019–2021)|
Justice of the High Court, CD (2013–2019)
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.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. 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. Because of that, they are not "overseas judges" as many mistakenly assume. They become local Hong Kong judges themselves. Along with their oaths taken to be justices of the UK Supreme Court, 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.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.
As of May 2021, two justices of the UK Supreme Court do concurrently sit on Hong Kong’s top court, namely, Lord Reed and Lord Hodge. In addition, six retired justices and two retired Law Lords are listed as appointees.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. She will be the first senior British judge to quit Hong Kong's top court after the enactment of the security law.
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.
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,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. It was also reported that English Heritage had been put under great pressure to approve the alterations. Feilden + Mawson, supported by Foster & Partners, were the appointed architects, with Kier Group appointed as main contractor.
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.
The official badge of the Supreme Court was granted by the College of Arms in October 2008.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.
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,as well as in the forms that will be used by the Supreme Court. A further variant omits the crown entirely and is featured prominently throughout the building.
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 .
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is the highest court of appeal for certain British territories, some Commonwealth countries and a few UK bodies. Established on 13 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, and continues to act as the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth nations, the Crown Dependencies, and the British Overseas Territories.
Judicial independence is the concept that the judiciary should be independent from the other branches of government. That is, courts should not be subject to improper influence from the other branches of government or from private or partisan interests. Judicial independence is important to the idea of separation of powers.
The United Kingdom has four legal systems, each of which derives from a particular geographical area for a variety of historical reasons: English law, Scots law, Northern Ireland law, and, since 2007, purely Welsh law. However, unlike the other three, Welsh law is not a separate legal system per se, merely the primary and secondary legislation generated by the Senedd, interpreted in accordance with the doctrines of English law and not impacting upon English common law. There is a substantial overlap between these three legal systems and the three legal jurisdictions of the United Kingdom: England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Each legal system defaults to its jurisdiction, each of whose courts further that law through jurisprudence. Choice of which jurisdiction's law to use is possible in private law: for example a company in Edinburgh, Scotland and a company in Belfast, Northern Ireland are free to contract in English law. This is not so in public law, where there are set rules of procedure in each jurisdiction. Overarching these systems is the law of the United Kingdom, also known as United Kingdom law. UK law arises from laws applying to the United Kingdom and/or its citizens as a whole, most obviously constitutional law, but also other areas, for instance tax law.
Whilst the House of Lords of the United Kingdom is the upper chamber of Parliament and has government ministers, it for many centuries had a judicial function. It functioned as a court of first instance for the trials of peers, for impeachments, and as a court of last resort in the United Kingdom and prior, the Kingdom of England.
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 pursuer 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.
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.
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 for the house, to exercise its judicial functions, which included acting as the highest court of appeal for most domestic matters. The House of Lords lost its judicial functions upon the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in October 2009. Lords of Appeal in Ordinary then in office automatically became Justices of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and those Supreme Court justices who had seats in the House of Lords lost their right to speak and vote there until after their retirement as justices of the new court.
The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that altered the judicial functions of the House of Lords. The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1887 allowed senior judges to sit in the House of Lords as life peers, known as Lords of Appeal in Ordinary.
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.
The courts of Scotland are responsible for administration of justice in Scotland, under statutory, common law and equitable provisions within Scots law. The courts are presided over by the judiciary of Scotland, who are the various judicial office holders responsible for issuing judgments, ensuring fair trials, and deciding on sentencing. The Court of Session is the supreme civil court of Scotland, subject to appeals to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, and the High Court of Justiciary is the supreme criminal court, which is only subject to the authority of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on devolution issues and human rights compatibility issues.
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.
There are various levels of judiciary in England and Wales — different types of courts have different styles of judges. They also form a strict hierarchy of importance, in line with the order of the courts in which they sit, so that judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales are generally given more weight than district judges sitting in county courts and magistrates' courts. On 1 April 2020 there were 3,174 judges in post in England and Wales. Some judges with United Kingdom-wide jurisdiction also sit in England and Wales, particularly Justices of the United Kingdom Supreme Court and members of the tribunals judiciary.
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and highcourt of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court. Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.
The judiciary of the United Kingdom are the separate judiciaries of the three legal systems in England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. However, the judges of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, Employment Tribunals, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the UK tribunals system do have a United Kingdom–wide jurisdiction. In employment law, employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal have jurisdiction in the whole of Great Britain.
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.
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 in the whole of the United Kingdom for civil matters, and for criminal matters from the United Kingdom jurisdictions of England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Judges are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister, who receives recommendations from a selection commission. The number of judges is set by s.23(2) Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which established the Court, but may be increased by the Queen through an Order in Council under s.23(3). There are currently 12 positions: one President, one Deputy President, and 10 Justices. Judges of the Court who are not already peers are granted the style Lord or Lady for life.
An Act of Sederunt is secondary legislation made by the Court of Session, the supreme civil court of Scotland, to regulate the proceedings of Scottish courts and tribunals hearing civil matters. Originally made under an Act of the Parliament of Scotland of 1532, the modern power to make Acts of Sederunt is largely derived from the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. Since 2013, draft Acts have also been prepared by the Scottish Civil Justice Council and submitted to the Court of Session for approval.
Scots law is the legal system of Scotland. It is a hybrid or mixed legal system containing civil law and common law elements, that traces its roots to a number of different historical sources. Together with English law and Northern Irish law, it is one of the three legal systems of the United Kingdom.
The judiciary of Scotland are the judicial office holders who sit in the courts of Scotland and make decisions in both civil and criminal cases. Judges make sure that cases and verdicts are within the parameters set by Scots law, and they must hand down appropriate judgments and sentences. Judicial independence is guaranteed in law, with a legal duty on Scottish Ministers, the Lord Advocate and the Members of the Scottish Parliament to uphold judicial independence, and barring them from influencing the judges through any form of special access.
R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is a United Kingdom constitutional law case decided by the United Kingdom Supreme Court on 24 January 2017, which ruled that the British Government may not initiate withdrawal from the European Union by formal notification to the Council of the European Union as prescribed by Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union without an Act of Parliament giving the government Parliament's permission to do so. Two days later, the government responded by bringing to Parliament the European Union Act 2017 for first reading in the House of Commons on 26 January 2017. The case is informally referred to as "the Miller case" or "Miller I".
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.
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.
The Supreme Courts are made up of the Court of Session, the High Court of Justiciary and the Accountant of Court's Office
I am delighted that Britain has been able to contribute to this process, by making available to the Court of Final Appeal two of our leading Law Lords, Lord Hoffmann and Lord Nicholls, as members of the Court's panel of non-permanent judges.
Section 17, Part V of Schedule 2, and Part I of Schedule 3
As a Hong Kong judge I serve Hong Kong people.
British judges should resign from Hong Kong’s highest court
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