Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The elephant in the room…

One thing I am curious about is the new Supreme Court. I have to confess that none of the legal books which I have read so far have had much to say about this institution beyond the comment that it is due to be created in 2009. Through my own research on the net and also via articles in the law sections of a couple of British newspapers I’ve found that it was in fact opened at the end of 2009, is fully functioning, has heard many cases, and has delivered numerous judgments. However, most of what I’ve found does not really address the substantive issues of the court and its structure. Instead they seem to focus on the symbols of the court, the cost of the building and the pomp and circumstance associated with its opening. Almost nothing has gone into detail about the judges, the effect of removing the ultimate legal authority for the UK from the House of Lords to the Supreme Court. In fact the silence on this subject seems to be deafening. Obviously the reason I am thinking about this is due to the fact that all the learning materials point us to the Law Lords as the ultimate court of appeal. As this is no longer true and I would hate to be caught out by continuing to think of them as such. I suppose the key will be to search out sources that can provide information on the structural change and its effects. I guess they don’t call it ‘independent learning’ for nothing.

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