UK/Supreme Court

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Group.png UK/Supreme Court  
UK Supreme Court.png
Parent organizationUK, UK/Ministry of Justice

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

As authorised by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, Part 3, Section 23(1) and s. 23, the UKSC was formally established on 1 October 2009, and 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.

The UKSC's jurisdiction over devolution matters had previously been exercised by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Current Judges

Twelve Justices of the UK Supreme Court

There are 12 Judges of the UK Supreme Court. In order of seniority, they are as follows:

Forthcoming appointments

The following announcements have been made regarding forthcoming appointments to the Supreme Court as sitting Justices reach the statutory retirement age:

Furthermore, Lord Reed has been announced as the next President of the Supreme Court. He will succeed Baroness Hale of Richmond in January 2020.[2]

Parliament's prorogation "unlawful"

UK Supreme Court quashes prorogation

From 17 to 19 September 2019, eleven Supreme Court justices heard challenges to the legality of Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament for five weeks. The Supreme Court was summoned for this emergency hearing outside legal term-time after the Scottish appeal court unanimously allowed the prorogation challenge.[3]

President of the Supreme Court, Baroness Hale, summarised the Court's unaninmous Judgment on Tuesday 24 September 2019, which concluded:[4]

"This Court has already concluded that the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect. This means that the Order in Council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect and should be quashed. This means that when the Royal Commissioners walked into the House of Lords it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper. The prorogation was also void and of no effect. Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous Judgment of all 11 Justices.
"It is for Parliament, and in particular the Speaker and the Lord Speaker to decide what to do next. Unless there is some Parliamentary rule of which we are unaware, they can take immediate steps to enable each House to meet as soon as possible. It is not clear to us that any step is needed from the Prime Minister, but if it is, the court is pleased that his counsel have told the court that he will take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of any declaration made by this Court. It follows that the Advocate General’s appeal in the case of Cherry is dismissed and Mrs Miller’s appeal is allowed. The same declarations and orders should be made in each case."[5]

Full Judgment

The 24-page Judgment on the cases

is set out here.[6]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Justice for Megrahi awaits at the Supreme CourtLetter4 April 2021Patrick HaseldineMy recommendation, Mr Anwar, is that you appeal to the UK Supreme Court to quash the Scottish Court in the Netherlands' 2001 conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on the basis of fabricated timer fragment evidence led by the "non-expert witness" Allen Feraday
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