Supreme Court (UKSC)

 

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.” (www.supremecourt.uk)

“The UKSC is the UK’s highest court of appeal. It hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance, concentrating on cases of the greatest significance. The UKSC is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland and (in certain cases) Scotland.” (The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

“It is our role to ensure that the other organs of state do what you as Parliament have said what they can or should do. It is still the role of Parliament to make the laws and set the boundaries of what the Government can do.” (Lady Hale, Annual appearance before the House of Lords Constitution Committee on 29 March 2017.)

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  1. The Function
  2. Judges and their Appointments
  3. Chief Executives: Jenny Rowe (2009-2015), Mark Ormerod (2015 -present
  4. Fundin
  5. Mission of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)
  6. Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)
  7. Relationship with other Courts and Other Issues raised before the House of Lords Constitution Committee on 29 March 2017
  8. Family Cases reaching the Supreme Court: VERY FEW
  9. UKSC cases list 2009-2017: most relevant to our work
     

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Since May 2011, it has been the home the most corrupt judge of the 21st Century who requires to be entertained by the barristers appearing before the court: Lord Wilson of Culworth – Supreme Court Justice.

It has also been the home of another Supreme Court Justice who failed to manage and administer proper judicial conduct at the Supreme Court and engaged in matters of conflict of interest with Lord Wilson of Culworth, and who gave his resignation this year, summer of 2017, on his own initiative and after being informed last May of the largest liability claim on the Government also following his own behaviour as Master of the Rolls (2009-2012) and then President of the Supreme Court (2012- 2017) – Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury.

Between 2010 and 2012, another corrupt Supreme Court Justice took his place in the Supreme Court and who resigned on his own from his position of Master of the Rolls and Head of Civil Division in 2016 after being faced with evidence of bribery and corrupt activities, and such evidence as put before Her Majesty The Queen – Lord Dyson.

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NOT ALL CASES IN UNITED KINGDOM REACH THIS FINAL SUPREME COURT AS THEY ARE FILTERED AND DENIED PERMISSION TO APPEAL TO THIS FINAL SUPREME COURT BY THE LOWER COURTS SUCH AS THE ‘COURT OF APPEAL’ OR ‘HIGH COURT’.

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Lord Mance (early 2012) was appointed to the arbitration panel of the European Law Institute, an independent body which aims to improve legal consistency in Europe by providing practical advice to policymakers and authorities. The Institute seeks to harmonise the application of European Union law and develop suggestions for reforms of EU.

The UKSC is a member of the Association of the Councils of State in Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions of the European Union (ACA). Lord Carnwath is the Court’s representative on this body and attends occasional events at which administrative justice issues are discussed.

The UKSC reports once a year before the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

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1. The Function

On the Parliament website the below description can be found:

The Supreme Court comprises of 12 judges, known as “Justices of the Supreme Court“, they include a President and Deputy President, appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Judicial Appointments Commission.

In 2005 Parliament passed the Constitutional Reform Act which, for the first time in constitutional history, provided for the separation of the Appellate Committee (supreme court) from the legislature (Parliament) and the executive (Government).

The key changes under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 included:

  • reforming the office of Lord Chancellor so that it could be held by someone other than a Member of the Lords and transferring his judicial functions to the Lord Chief Justice
  • establishing an independent Judicial Appointments Commission to recommend judicial appointments, and
  • transferring the House of Lords’ capacity to consider judicial appeals, together with the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, to a new and separate United Kingdom Supreme Court.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 also made provision for judges of the Court of Appeal (covering England and Wales), and equivalent courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to sit as acting judges in the new Supreme Court.

The new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom was established under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and came into effect in October 2009, separating the judicial and law-making functions of the House of Lords for the first time. (Wikipedia)

It’s function is that of authority and impression giving that new law can be made based on the issues brought to this court; however, very few family cases reach this court as the breaks are put by the Lord Justices of Appeal who prohibit any further legal steps to be taken including taking the case to the Supreme Court.  Those cases that do make it have a common denominator: significant legal funds available, powerful law firms, and significant assets to be debated. If one cannot meet the common denominator, then one’s case will not be worthy of reaching this court – the highest court in the country.

In most cases when new law is being made, confusion sets in and those parties eager to apply the new law are being turned away by the judges sitting in lower courts as they don’t know how to apply the new law.

Supreme Court creates a never ending circle of mistrust, confusion and dysfunction with the public.

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, it can overturn secondary legislation if, for 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 act to amend the legislation by statutory instrument to remove the incompatibility or ask Parliament to amend the legislation. (Wikipedia)

 

2. Judges and their Appointments

Same Judges as for the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council located within the Supreme Court building. Click here.

The first members of the Supreme Court were the existing 12 Law Lords (Lords of Appeal in Ordinary) who now sit in the new Court which occupies the former Middlesex Guildhall, opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 also made provision for judges of the Court of Appeal (covering England and Wales), and equivalent courts in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to sit as acting judges in the new Supreme Court.

Eleven of the 12 Law Lords in post in July 2009 became the first Justices of the Supreme Court and will remain Members of the House of Lords. They are no longer entitled to sit or vote in the Lords but return to the House of Lords when they retire as Justices. (www.parliament.uk)

Appointed by current Lord Chancellor: “It is the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor to convene a selection commission: this is usually done by way of a letter to the President of the Court who chairs the selection commission.” (Supreme Court) See the full process in 2010/11 under Lord Wilson of Culworth profile as appointed by Kenneth Clarke, Lord Chancellor (12 May 2010 – 4 September 2012) and what he is known for – Father of the House and the man that promoted to the highest court of the land the ultimate corrupt judge of the 21st Century.

Each of the appointments are made by Her Majesty The Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor, following the recommendations of two independent selection commissions.

Performance Report: Judicial appointments   Recommendations for appointments to the UKSC are made by an independent selection commission, convened by the Lord Chancellor under rules set by Parliament. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 and the Crime and Courts Act 2013 stipulate the main elements of the process to be followed, including the senior judges and politicians who need to be consulted at different stages
of the process. (Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive, The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, the new Supreme Court Justices 2009-2010. Click here.

Tom Bingham, Senior Law Lord (Baron Bingham of Cornhill). Click here.

New appointments for 2017: Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Lloyd-Jones and Lord Justice Briggs

New President Oct. 2017: Lady Hale (Outgoing: Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury)

History of the UKSC Judicial Appointment. Click here.

 

3. Chief Executives: Jenny Rowe (2009-2015), Mark Ormerod (2015-present)

The administration of the Supreme Court is a non-ministerial Department, established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA).  The Court is supported by a Chief Executive who holds a statutory office created by s48 of the CRA.  The Chief Executive must carry out his/her functions in accordance with any directions given to her by the President of the Court, to whom he/she reports, although he/she may not act inconsistently with the standards of behaviour required of a civil servant, or with his/her responsibilities as Accounting Officer.The Chief Executive was appointed by the Lord Chancellor after consultation with the then Senior Law Lord (Lord Bingham). The President of the Court may appoint officers and staff of the Court, but under s48(3) of the CRA the President of the Court may delegate to the Chief Executive this function and all other non-judicial functions of the Court; and the present President, Lord Phillips, has indeed chosen so to delegate them. The Chief Executive, officers and staff of the Court are all civil servants. They have their pay, terms and conditions determined as such, although the CRA provides that the Chief Executive may determine the number of officers and staff of the Court and the terms on which they are appointed, with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor. Some staff transferred from the House of Lords to become civil servants at the same time as the Law Lords became the Justices of the new Court. Some staff moved with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council from 9 Downing Street; others came from the Ministry of Justice and some from other Government Departments. Under the CRA the Lord Chancellor must ensure the Court is provided with such accommodation and other resources as he thinks are appropriate for the Court to carry on its business. The Chief Executive is placed under a parallel statutory duty to ensure that the Court’s resources are used to provide an efficient and effective system to support its business. This is why the administration of the Court is as a non-ministerial Department. It is not part of the Ministry of Justice and does not report to the Lord Chancellor.The Justices regarded achieving tangible independence from both the Legislature and the Executive (in the shape of the Ministry of Justice) as a key constitutional objective. This was particularly important because the Government is in practice a party in slightly more than half the cases in which an application is made or a hearing takes place before the Court. The Chief Executive is therefore also an Accounting Officer in her own right, accountable directly to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. The Chief Executive has two immediate deputies, the Director of Corporate Services (William Arnold), who is also the deputy Accounting Officer, responsible for the institutional and organisational side of the Court; and the Registrar (Louise di Mambro), who is the Court’s senior lawyer and responsible for the progress of cases and the Court’s business. (Supreme Court, Annual Report 2009 – 2010)

 

4. Funding

The president of the UK’s Supreme Court has warned that its independence cannot be properly guaranteed because of the way it is funded by the government.  In a speech in London, Lord Phillips said the court was dependent on what it could persuade the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to give “by way of contribution”….A Supreme Court spokeswoman said a significant part of the court’s funding came from Her Majesty’s Court Service, which had so far been unable to pay its contribution, which meant the MoJ had to make up the difference.The court would like absolute certainty about funding, ideally through a total budget provided by the consolidated fund, to guarantee the institutional independence of the court,” she said. (Supreme Court independence ‘threatened’ by funding, 9 Feb. 2011)

The Court’s activities are financed mainly by Supply voted by Parliament, contributions from various jurisdictions and financing from the Consolidated Fund…A liability of £36m was also transferred from MoJ. This represents the minimum value of the lease payments for the UK Supreme Court building until March 2039. The Court had operating income of £7.71m which was used to support the administration of justice. Out of this, £6.63m was received by way of contribution from the various jurisdictions i.e. £5.92m from HMCTS, £0.48m from the Scottish Government and £0.24m from Northern Ireland Court Service. UKSC Court fees during the year were £0.76m whilst £0.20m was generated as Court fees for JCPC. The court also had income of about £0.12m from Wider Market Initiatives such as Event Hire and Sales of Gift Items. The Supreme Court is accountable to Parliament for its expenditure. Parliamentary approval for its spending plans is sought through Supply Estimates presented to the House of Commons. The Statement of Parliamentary Supply provides information on how the Court has performed against the Parliamentary and Treasury control totals against which it is monitored. (Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive, The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

 

5. Mission of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)

The mission of the administration of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (UKSC) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) is to ensure that the President, Deputy President and Justices of the two Courts can deliver just and effective determination of appeals heard by the Court, in ways which also best develop the Rule of Law and the administration of justice. (Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive, The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

 

6. Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC)

The JCPC is the court of final appeal for the UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies and for those Commonwealth countries that have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of republics, to the Judicial Committee. Although the Judicial Committee was instituted by a United Kingdom Act, the substantive law which it applies is the law of the country or territory from which the appeal comes. The Judicial Committee therefore plays an important role in the development of law in the various constituent jurisdictions and the impact of its decisions extends far beyond the parties involved in any given case, and often involves questions arising out of the relevant constitution and/or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the inhabitants of the country or territory.

The UKSC administration assumed responsibility for the administration of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) on 1 April 2011. The JCPC hears appeals from a number of Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

The Strategic Advisory Board which was set up in January 2016 has now fully embedded during the reporting year. It exists to consider the strategic direction of the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC); and to approve and review the Strategic Framework.
In doing so it takes into consideration:
 information on the current state of the UKSC and JCPC
 the strategic issues facing the UKSC and JCPC
 strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; and
 the financial provision

(Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive, The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

Co-location, overlap of personnel and shared housekeeping with the Supreme Court.

Jurisdictions where the JCPC is the final Court of Appeal: 

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Ascension, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands and Niue, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Kiribati, Mauritius, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Islands, Saint Christopher and Nevis, St Helena, *St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sovereign Base of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu,  UK (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Church Commissioners, Arches Court of Canterbury, Chancery Court of York, Prize Courts, Court of the Admiralty of the Cinque Ports), Brunei (Civil Appeals from the Court of Appeal to the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan for advice to the Sultan) 
Power to refer any matter to the Judicial Committee under section 4 of the Judicial Committee Act 1833 
(Mark Ormerod, Chief Executive, The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017)

Judges: Same Judges as for the Supreme Court. Click here.

Lord President of the Council (Current)Ms Andrea Leadsom (since 11 June 2017, under Prime Minister Theresa May) and Member of Parliament where the most corrupt judge of the 21st Century: Lord Wilson of Culworth (Supreme Court Judge since 2011) resides. Also she is the Leader of the House of Commons.

Lord President of the Council (Past): Mr Chris Grayling (9 May 2015 – 14 July 2016, under Prime Minister David Cameron). He was also former Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice 4 September 2012 – 9 May 2015) and then Leader of the House of Commons (9 May 2015 – 14 July 2016).  By profession he was an executive in the media (BBC, Channel 4, editor etc.) (Wikipedia)  Click here for more on Mr Chris Grayling. 

The Lord President of the Council is the fourth of the Great Officers of State of the United Kingdom, ranking below the Lord High Treasurer but above the Lord Privy Seal. The Lord President usually attends and is responsible for presiding over meetings of the Privy Council, presenting business for the monarch’s approval. In the modern era, the holder is by convention always a member of one of the Houses of Parliament, and the office is normally a Cabinet post. (Wikipedia)

 

7.  Relationship with other Courts and Other Issues raised before the House of Lords Constitution Committee on 29 March 2017

[Lord Neuberger (Rt Hon. Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury), President of the Supreme Court, and Lady Hale (Rt Hon. Baroness Hale of Richmond), Deputy President of the Supreme Court, at the annual appearance before the House of Lords Constitution Committee on 29 March 2017. Click here (selected transcripts below).]

Court of Justice in Luxembourg v. European Court of Justice (Strasbourg)

Lord Pannick: The President mentioned the Court of Justice in Luxembourg. One thing we do not know is whether it will have any continuing role and what it would be after March 2019. Could you say something about the working relationship between the Supreme Court and the Court of Justice? We often hear about dialogue between the Supreme Court and Strasbourg, but we hear less about the relationship between the Supreme Court and Luxembourg.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury: Yes, the dialogue between us and Luxembourg tends to be more one way, in open terms. First, when we refer a case because it raises a point of difficulty or refer an issue, we sometimes give a judgment saying what we think the answer may be, if we are all agreed or have a clear majority view. Sometimes we will just refer the issue. One thing we slightly regret vis-à-vis Luxembourg and the CJEU is that it is less likely to take on board what we have said, at least on the face of its judgments, whereas the Strasbourg court is clearly more prepared to take on what we said. Secondly, it is more difficult to engage with Luxembourg than Strasbourg— more difficult to engage with the Court of Justice of the European Union than with the European Court of Human Rights.If we think that the European Court of Human Rights has taken a wrong turning and misunderstood our law or should reconsider its decision, we can refuse to follow it.We can explain why and then the Strasbourg court may change its mind, as it has done on more than one occasion. With the CJEU in Luxembourg, we cannot do that, although sometimes we find its decisions somewhat impenetrable and may refer back to it saying “Could you please clarify?” However, there are also communications behind the scenes. We—the judges from the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the Inner House, and from Northern Ireland—visit Luxembourg from time to time and the CJEU comes to see us. My own view is that that should continue, at least for the time being. If we have issues of EU law that will now become UK law, they will make decisions on legislation in the European Court of Justice for EU purposes, and we will make decisions in our courts on identically worded legislation in the UK. It seems sensible to maintain contact with them to discuss matters of mutual interest for the benefit of the people of this country and the people of the EU.Lord Pannick: I want to follow up on what Baroness Hale said earlier about the vital need for Parliament to make the role of the Court of Justice clear. Do you agree that it would be very odd indeed if your court and other courts were bound by Luxembourg after we leave, given that our citizens will have no right of access to that court? Presumably we will have no power to refer cases to it, so the idea that you are bound by it is very odd, is it not?
Baroness Hale of Richmond: Of course we must distinguish between before and after. We are currently still bound by EU law. That means that, as the final court in the land, if the answer to a question of European law is not clear we have to refer it to the Luxembourg court. In fact, we are still making references to the Luxembourg court, so we assume that if the answer comes back before Brexit, obviously we must apply it. It would be good if we knew what the situation will be if the answer comes back afterwards, given that the litigation started while we were still a member.Clearly with anything that starts afterwards we will no longer be in a position to refer the question to Luxembourg. The issue then will be what weight if any we should give to the jurisprudence of the Luxembourg court that is relevant to the issue. If, as is so often the case, the Luxembourg jurisprudence is not clear or it is a question that has not yet been asked, we will have to try to work out the answers for ourselves. As Lord Neuberger said right at the outset, that task is no different from that of deciding that something is not clear so we must refer it. Deciding what the answer is is something that we have to do all the time.
Baroness Taylor of Bolton: Presumably the cases that you are talking about that could be started but not completed before Brexit would be judged on the rules that applied when the case started.
Baroness Hale of Richmond: Normally they should be, but not every question is. Some questions depend upon the current state of affairs, but normally they depend upon the state of affairs when they started. That is the general principle. For most of the ones that I can think of, that would be the situation.

Developing a written Constitution:

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury: If you are talking about a formal constitution, the arguments for and against a formal constitution in this country have been much debated, and there are clearly strong arguments on both sides. Among independent sovereign countries, New Zealand, Israel and the UK are the three that do not have formal constitutions. The rest do. On the other hand, it could be said that this country—uniquely, I think, of any substantial country—has survived more than 350 years with stable government, no revolution, no tyranny and no invasion, and if it ain’t broke, don’t mend it.  It is quite a difficult issue, not least because with devolution and our coming out of the EU it could be said that things are in a particular state of flux— there are debates about what precisely should be done with this House in terms of membership and so on. There is obviously a powerful argument for a written constitution. I am probably no more competent to express a view than most other people, but I would be slightly wary of a written constitution. We are developing a sort of constitution through statutes, although that is not technically a constitution. It might be said that we could tidy up our devolution laws in a more structured way. Perhaps doing it in that way, bit by bit, is better than trying for an overall constitution, which is foreign to our history and would probably be a mistake.

Baroness Hale of Richmond: It strikes me, following on from what Lord Neuberger has been saying, that I do not know of a written constitution that would answer the question that we had to answer in the Miller case. Although they tend to say, “There shall be an Executive and it shall do what Executives do, and there will be a legislature and it shall do what legislatures do”, the precise division of roles regarding what is an Executive role and what is a legislative role would probably not be answered in any written constitution. Obviously we believed that we were in a position to define that difference in the Miller case, but I am very interested in the point that you make, because it was indeed fortuitous. It was not only Mrs Miller; there were two other claimants who would have brought the case had she not done so, so there was quite a collection of people. Nevertheless, if someone had not brought the case, we would not have been in the position to say to the Government, “You can’t do it”. And that is an interesting question.

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury: That is, if I may say so, a very good point. If one looks at the United States, its constitutional events after 1776 have mostly tended to be decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, which inevitably depend on somebody bringing a claim. That raises a point about the happenstance of constitutional events, it might be said.

Courts as Guardians to UK constitutional arrangements. 

Lord Maclennan of Rogart: Lady Hale, you talked in November last year in a speech about the long-standing traditional ways in which the Supreme Court and indeed all her courts have been guardians of our constitutional arrangements. Do you have views about the role of the United Kingdom Parliament and the Supreme Court if we go through the process of exiting the European Union?
Baroness Hale of Richmond: The view I have always expressed is that in large part the courts are the servants of Parliament. It is our function, when we exercise the judicial review function in relation to the actions of the Government and other public authorities, to ensure that they stay within the bounds that Parliament has given them and exercise those  powers correctly in accordance with Parliament’s instructions. That is what I still think we are for. It is our role to ensure that the other organs of state do what you as Parliament have said what they can or should do. It is still the role of Parliament to make the laws and set the boundaries of what the Government can do.

Legal professionals v. Clients:

Lord Judge: I would love to ask a lot of questions of Lord Neuberger about the times when he spoke when I was Lord Chief Justice. I do not remember too many occasions when I was deeply offended by anything you said. However, let me ask you a lovely simple question. You have referred to the rule of law. Are there any aspects of the rule of law and its application in this country, any diminutions or concerns, that you and the Deputy President wants to draw to our attention?
Baroness Hale of Richmond: There is one specific matter that concerns us somewhat, because it is looming on the horizon. It is our view as judges that the quality, independence, integrity and professionalism of the legal profession are essential to the proper administration of justice and the rule of law. It is not our role to speak up for the legal profession—we left that many years ago—but it is a rule of law issue. The present system of regulation for the legal profession is very complicated, but it was a very carefully worked-out balance between different types of regulation and different regulatory bodies. There is a concern at the direction of travel at the very top of that system in relation to the Legal Services Board and a document that it produced at the end of last year. It expressed the view that one of the regulatory objectives in the Legal Services Act was problematic: the objective of encouraging an independent, strong, diverse and effective legal professionThey seemed to think it problematic because the independence of the legal profession might be seen to conflict with consumer interests. The whole point about the independence of the legal profession is that you are independent of your clients; your duty to the court comes before your duty to your client. Obviously your duty to your client is incredibly important, but that is true whichever branch of the legal profession you are in. That is what that objective is about maintaining. So if the top regulator thinks that is a problem, it is a problem for us and for the rule of law. It is very much a straw in the wind or a cloud on the horizon, or whatever, but we thought it quite important to draw it to the attention of this Committee, so that, in a rule of law sense, you can keep an eye on it.

Supreme Court v. Judicial Committee of Privy Council:

Lord Beith: My question is about the working arrangements with the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.You have co-location, the overlap of personnel and shared housekeeping, and of course you have taken over duties that it used to have in relation to devolution, as we have just mentioned. Is the identity of the Judicial Committee getting submerged into the Supreme Court, and would that matter in the remaining jurisdictions that have recourse to it?
Baroness Hale of Richmond:We have to try our hardest to maintain the separate nature of the institution. It is a separate institution. It has always had a common judiciary, but we used to be in Downing Street, in that wonderful purpose-built committee room, and now we are, as you say, co-located. We try to maintain the separation to the best of our ability. We always fly the flag of the jurisdiction from which the appeal comes; it is noticeable that counsel and the other lawyers who come to the committee room see that the flag is there and it reassures them. We also cover up the symbol of the Supreme Court with the Privy Council rug, which I always draw attention to, as it shows that this is the Privy Council and not the Supreme Court. It is ironic that the Privy Council has the royal coat of arms on it whereas ours does not, as quite a lot of the jurisdictions that come to the Privy Council are republics. We do our best to maintain the separation, and it is important that we do, because it is a separate jurisdiction and it feels completely separate. When we are sitting there, we do not feel like the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury: It also benefits from the fact that we have three courtrooms in our building. Two of those are Supreme Court courtrooms, whereas the ground-floor courtroom is the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Occasionally, on big cases, we may go into the big courtroom to hear Privy Council cases, but almost every Privy Council case is heard in the dedicated courtroom for the Privy Council, and we do not
have Supreme Court hearings there. Lord Pannick: You also go on tour, do you not? You go to the jurisdictions. How often do you go and would you like to go more?
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury: This month, five of our colleagues went to the Bahamas and had a fairly intense five days hearing appeals and meeting the judges and politicians out there. Before that, there was a trip to Mauritius. I do not know if Lady Hale went to Mauritius; I did not go.

 

8.  Family Cases reaching the Supreme Court: VERY FEW

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2016–2017

1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017:  Family cases 1 (allowed)  7(refused) 8(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights 2 (allowed) 3(refused) 5(total); Judicial Review 9(allowed) 13(refused) 22(total)

Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017:
 91 appeals were heard, and
 76 judgments were given.

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017
PTA applications received 209
PTA applications referred to Justices 188
PTA applications granted 67
PTA applications refused 119
PTA applications other result 6
PTA fee remissions 13
PTA fee deferred 1
Appeals/references lodged with permission or as of right 32
Number of Appeals heard 91
Number of Appeals allowed 35
Number of Appeals dismissed 36
Number of Appeals other outcome 8*
Number of Appeals referred to CJEU 4**
Number of sitting days 142
Number of possible sitting days 153
Number of Judgments given 76

 

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2015–2016

1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016:  Family cases 4 (allowed)  14(refused) 18(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights 1(allowed) 3(refused) 4(total); Judicial Review 14(allowed) 11(refused) 25(total)

Between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016:
 92 appeals were heard, and
 81 judgments were given

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2016
PTA applications received 230
PTA applications referred to Justices 201
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 30
PTA applications granted 84
PTA applications refused 126
PTA applications other result 5
PTA fee remissions 24
PTA fee deferred 2
Appeals filed as of right 12
Number of Appeals heard 92
Number of Appeals allowed 34
Number of Appeals dismissed 31
Number of Appeals other result 5
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 2
Number of sitting days 104
Number of possible sitting days 133
Number of Judgments given 81

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2014–2015

1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015:  Family cases   3(allowed)  11(refused) 14(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights 3(allowed) 3(refused) 6(total); Judicial Review 14(allowed) 23(refused) 37(total)

Between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015:
 89 appeals were heard, and
 81 judgments were given.

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015
PTA applications received 231
PTA applications referred to Justices 230
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 28
PTA applications granted 88
PTA applications refused 179
PTA applications other result 2
PTA fee remissions 27
PTA fee deferred 2
Appeals filed as of right 54
Number of Appeals heard 89
Number of Appeals allowed 37
Number of Appeals dismissed 40
Number of Appeals other result 6
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 0
Number of sitting days 136
Number of possible sitting days 144
Number of Judgments given 81

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2013–2014

1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014:  Family cases   4(allowed)  4(refused) 8(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights 3(allowed) 4(refused) 7(total); Judicial Review 12(allowed) 12(refused) 24(total)

Between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014:
 120 appeals were heard, and
 115 judgments were given

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014
PTA applications received 229
PTA applications referred to Justices 205
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 24
PTA applications granted 81
PTA applications refused 120
PTA applications other result 0
PTA fee remissions 18
PTA fee deferred 0
Appeals filed as of right 37
Number of Appeals heard 120
Number of Appeals allowed 56
Number of Appeals dismissed 50
Number of Appeals other result 9
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 2
Number of sitting days 127
Number of possible sitting days 147
Number of Judgments given 115

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2012–2013

1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013:  Family cases   8(allowed)  9(refused) 17(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights 2(allowed) 1(refused) 3(total); Judicial Review 6(allowed) 6(refused) 12(total)

Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013:
 83 appeals were heard, and
 77 judgments were given

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013
PTA applications received 259
PTA applications referred to Justices 237
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 24
PTA applications granted 86
PTA applications refused 149
PTA applications other result 2
PTA fee remissions 9
PTA fee deferred 5
Appeals filed as of right 27
Number of Appeals heard 83
Number of Appeals allowed 31
Number of Appeals dismissed 43
Number of Appeals other result 2
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 2
Number of sitting days 118
Number of possible sitting days 144
Number of Judgments given 77

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2011–2012

1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012:  Family cases   ?(allowed)  ?(refused) ?(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total); Judicial Review ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total)

Between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2012:
 69 appeals were heard, and
 85 judgments were given.

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012
PTA applications received 249
PTA applications referred to Justices 221
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 27
PTA applications granted 64
PTA applications refused 156
PTA applications other result 5
PTA fee remissions 13
PTA fee deferred 4
Appeals filed as of right 28
Number of Appeals heard 69
Number of Appeals allowed 37
Number of Appeals dismissed 33
Number of Appeals other result 19
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 2
Number of sitting days 117
Number of possible sitting days 138
Number of Judgments given 85

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2010–2011

1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012:  Family cases   ?(allowed)  ?(refused) ?(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total); Judicial Review ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total)

Between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011:
 76 appeals were heard, and
 56 judgments were given

TABLE 3 – Total UKSC statistics, including all jurisdictions: 1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011
PTA applications received 228
PTA applications referred to Justices 209
PTA applications not yet referred to Justices 39
PTA applications granted 67
PTA applications refused 115
PTA applications other result 4
PTA fee remissions 10
PTA fee deferred 4
Appeals filed as of right 15
Number of Appeals heard 76
Number of Appeals allowed 28
Number of Appeals dismissed 25
Number of Appeals other result 2
Number of Appeals referred to ECJ 2
Number of sitting days 121
Number of possible sitting days 154
Number of Judgments given 56

 

The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2009–2010

1 October 2009 – 31 March 2010:  Family cases   ?(allowed)  ?(refused) ?(total)

Other relevant cases:   Human Rights ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total); Judicial Review ?(allowed) ?(refused) ?(total)

On 1 October 2009 the UKSC inherited:
 41 appeal cases waiting to be heard
 14 cases, which had been heard by the House of Lords but where judgment had not yet been given
 44 cases where costs issues were still outstanding, and
 7 further cases had been referred to or were the subject of proceedings before the European Court of Justice.

In the UKSC from 1 October 2009 to 31 March 2010:
 43 appeals were heard, and
 42 judgments were given.

 

 

9. UKSC cases list 2009-2017: most relevant to our work

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