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Supreme Court of England

Supreme Court of England

The Supreme Court of England: was established to achieve a complete separation between the United Kingdom’s senior Judges and the Upper House of Parliament, emphasising the independence of the Law Lords and increasing the transparency between Parliament and the courts.

In August 2009 the Justices moved out of the House of Lords (where they sat as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords) into their own building on the opposite side of Parliament Square. They sat for the first time as a Supreme Court in October 2009.

The impact of Supreme Court decisions extend far beyond the parties involved in any given case, shaping our society, and directly affecting our everyday lives.

For instance, in their first legal year, the Justices gave landmark rulings on access to legal advice for Scottish suspects, the rights of gay asylum seekers, and the weight to be given to pre-nuptial agreements.

Role of The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court, as well as being the final court of appeal, plays an important role in the development of United Kingdom law.

As an appeal court, The Supreme Court cannot consider a case unless a relevant order has been made in a lower court.

The Supreme Court:
is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland
hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance
concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance
maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common law world
The Supreme Court hears appeals from the following courts in each jurisdiction:

England and Wales
The Court of Appeal, Civil Division
The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
(in some limited cases) the High Court

The Court of Session
Click here to download a factual guide to Scottish Criminal Cases and the UK Supreme Court (PDF).

Northern Ireland
The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland
(in some limited cases) the High Court
Please click here to download a full guide to appealing to The Supreme Court (PDF).

UK judicial system
For historical reasons, as a state made up of several separate jurisdictions, the United Kingdom does not have a single unified legal system.

Instead, there is one system for England and Wales, another for Scotland, and a third for Northern Ireland.

In most cases, The Supreme Court sits above all of these as the final court of appeal.

Important Links:

Magna Carta, 1215 - 1689 English Bill of Rights: The English elite had just succeeded in ousting the Catholic King James, who had offended the protestant Church of England by aggressively promoting the Roman Catholic religion, in spite of laws that Parliament had passed. William of Orange and his wife Mary were crowned King and Queen of England (Mary was actually the daughter of the deposed King James II) in Westminster Abbey on April 11, 1689...

Landmark Judgments | Famous Trials | Historical Facts | Legal Profession

Law Maxims

# Acta exteriora iudicant interiora secreta - Outward acts indicate the inward intent
# Boni judicis lites dirimere est - It is the duty of a good judge to prevent litigation
# Conventio et modus vincunt legem - A contract and agreement overcome the law
Damnum sine injuria - damage without legal injury.
Ex facie - On the fact of it.
Faciendum - Something which is to be done.
Injuria non excusat injuriam - A wrong does not excuse a wrong.
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