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15 Jud. Rev. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/judire15 and id is 1 raw text is: 






[2010] JR


Practice and Procedure in the

New Supreme Court

CJS Knight
Barrister, Inner Temple


Introduction

1. On I October 2009 the jurisdiction of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords
   ceased and the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom opened for business in the
   renovated Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square. The location is fitting, maintain-
   ing a link with the former home of the most senior judiciary by being directly opposite
   the Palace of Westminster, at right angles to Westminster Abbey and a stone's throw
   away from Downing Street. The Supreme Court is very much rooted in the heart of the
   machinery of the state.

2. The tangled and slightly unsatisfactory nature of how the Supreme Court came to be is
   well-known and will not be rehearsed here. Readers who are interested in what are now
   issues of legal and constitutional history will gain a great deal from Andrew le Sueur's
   overview in the recent tome dedicated to the Appellate Committee: From Appellate
   Committee to Supreme Court: A Narrative, in L Blom-Cooper, B Dickson and
   G Drewry (eds), The Judicial House of Lords 1876-2009 (OUP, 2009), Ch. 5.1 But what is
   done is done. By s. 23(1) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 there is to be a Supreme
   Court of the United Kingdom, staffed by 12 judges (s. 23(2)) who are to be known as
   Justices of the Supreme Court by virtue of s. 23(6).2

3. Although there has been expressed a desire on the part of many commentators,3 and some
   of the Court's own members, for the Court to sit more frequently in larger panels, practi-
   tioners will doubtless be quietly relieved to see that the Judicial Committee of the Privy
   Council is now housed in the same building as the Court. Press debates about an Eastern
   Caribbean appellate court aside, the Committee has a large body of work which requires
   the attention of the Justices. The standard approach of having two panels of judges of five
   each sitting in different courts is likely to remain the default position for the moment.
   However, the cases being heard by both the Court and the Committee for the term are
   published on the website, and the listings reveal that in its first term (at least at the point
   of writing) the Court planned to sit as nine in two cases4 and as seven in two others.5

   See also the entertaining reminiscence of Lord Pannick, 'Better that a horse should have a voice in that House
   [of Lords] than that a judge should' (Jeremy Bentham): Replacing the Law Lords by a Supreme Court [2009]
   PL 723.
2 As of I October 2009, 11 Justices were sworn in: Lord Phillips (President), Lord Hope (Deputy President), Lord
  Saville, Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr and Lord
  Clarke. A twelfth Justice is to be appointed at the time of writing following the appointment of Lord Neuberger
  as Master of the Rolls.
3 R Clayton, Decision-Making in the Supreme Court: New Approaches and New Opportunities [2009] PL 682.
4 In the appeals from: R (E) v The Governing Body of JFS and the Admissions Appeal Panel of JFS [2009] EWCA Civ
  626 [2009] 4 All ER 375; and Norris v Government of the United States of America [2009] EWHC 995 (Admin).
  In the appeals from: A, K, M, G and HAY v HM Treasury [2008] EWCA Civ 1187 [2009] 3 WLR 25 (and [2009]
  EWHC 1677 (Admin) for the case of HAY) (including associated applications concerning anonymity of the indi-
  viduals); and Re S-B (A Child) [2009] EWCA Civ 1048.

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