Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom (U.K.) Newly Designed was Rolled Out in Presence of the Queen and Supreme Court Justices from Around the World

As reported by Nathan Koppel at the WSJ Law Blog in The New U.K. High Court: A Chip Off The New Block, the United Kingdom this month ceremoniously replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords with a new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The October 1, 2009 Press Notice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom provided as follows:

[Please note that the links in the text below have been added for more detailed information by LawPundit and are NOT a part of the original press release.]

"Reference number: 01/09
Date: 1 October 2009
Press Notice
Supreme Court of the United Kingdom comes into existence

The new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom came into existence today (1 October 2009) and is now the highest court in the United Kingdom.

Replacing the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, the Court's creation is a landmark moment in constitutional and legal development.

The new home of the Supreme Court is the former Middlesex Guildhall, on Parliament Square. It has been painstakingly renovated over the past two years with new life breathed into the building. Many original features have been restored and brought back to full splendour.

Established through the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Supreme Court will hear civil appeal cases from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as criminal appeal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It takes over the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). The JCPC continues to be the final court of appeal for certain Commonwealth countries and other jurisdictions, such as Crown Dependencies.

The Supreme Court is set to transform the public's awareness of justice at the highest level. One of the Court’s fundamental aims is to be as transparent as possible in its judgments and proceedings.

For the first time at any court in the United Kingdom, proceedings will be routinely filmed and made available to broadcasters. The building is open to the public during working hours and press summaries of judgments will be provided to the media.

The Court will educate as well as adjudicate, with a specially created exhibition on the Court's work and the UK's judicial systems.

Following the swearing in this morning, the Justices will process in their robes to Westminster Abbey to attend the annual service that marks the start of the new legal year in England and Wales.

Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, President of the Supreme Court, said: "For the first time, we have a clear separation of powers between the legislature, the judiciary and the executive in the United Kingdom. This is important. It emphasises the independence of the judiciary, clearly separating those who make the law from those who administer it.

As Justices of the Supreme Court we will be more visible to the public than we ever were when sitting as members of the House of Lords. This is desirable as the Court will only decide points of law of public importance. Justice at the highest level should be transparent and the new Court will have a crucial role in letting the public see how justice is done."

Jenny Rowe, Chief Executive of the Supreme Court, said: "The establishment of the Supreme Court is an important historic moment.

"The improvements and modernisation that this brings creates exciting new opportunities to show the wider public how justice is done at the highest level, to increase awareness of the UK's legal systems and the impact the law has on people's lives."

Ends

Notes to editors
  • The start of the legal year in England and Wales is traditionally marked by a procession of judges arriving at Westminster Abbey from the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand for the service, followed by the Lord Chancellor's 'breakfast' in the Great Hall in the Houses of Parliament.

  • The swearing in of Justices will start at approximately 10am on Thursday 1 October at The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. The Service in Westminster Abbey commences at 11.30am. Sworn in Justices will process to the Abbey at approximately 10.50am.
Contacts:
Sian Lewis
Tel: 020 7960 1886
sian.lewis@supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk

Robert Boyland
Tel: 020 7960 1887
robert.boyland@supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
Parliament Square London SW1P 3BD T: 020 7960 1886/1887 F: 020 7960 1901 www.supremecourt.gov.uk"
[Please note that the links in the text above were added for more detailed information by LawPundit and are NOT a part of the original press release.]

The October 2, 2009 Press Notice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom provided as follows:
"Reference number: 02/09
Date: 16 October 2009

Press Notice

HM The Queen officially opens The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom


Her Majesty The Queen today officially opened The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom at an event attended by senior judges from around the world, politicians and others from the UK.


Located on Parliament Square, the building which is now home to the new Supreme Court has been painstakingly restored through a Ministry of Justice managed project – with many of the previously obscured original features of the Middlesex Guildhall brought back to light.


The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh were taken on a tour of the building by The Rt Hon Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Court's President, The Right Hon Lord Hope of Craighead, Deputy President and Jenny Rowe, its Chief Executive.


Lord Phillips said: "It was a very great honour that Her Majesty performed the official opening and that it was attended by so many distinguished guests. The creation of a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom is undoubtedly a major constitutional landmark. It unequivocally separates the senior judiciary from the legislature and the executive, but also brings other benefits.


"The Court's new facilities are far improved for Justices, lawyers, other court users and the public. Justice at the highest level should be transparent and we now have facilities which are truly accessible and create opportunities for people to gain a better understanding of our work and the UK legal systems in general."


Greeted with a fanfare by The State Trumpeters of The Band of The Blues and Royals, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh met staff, contractors and artists who had contributed to the project. In the Court’s new exhibition area they saw schoolchildren from William Edward's School and Sports College, Grays, Essex, using interactive displays that explain the UK's legal systems and the role of the Court's Justices. A legal debate or 'moot' was also staged in Court One by students from Strode's College, Egham, Surrey.


Lord Phillips, The Prime Minister The Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP addressed guests who included many senior members of overseas judiciary. Judges from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe, India and Canada were among those who attended. There were also dignitaries from the Commonwealth and The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Crown Dependencies, from the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, as well as Caribbean islands.


Sir Andrew Motion, former poet laureate, read his poem 'Lines for the Supreme Court', commissioned by the Justices of the Supreme Court to mark its establishment. The poem has been engraved onto stone benches outside the front entrance of The Supreme Court building. Prayers were led by His Grace, The Archbishop of Canterbury after Her Majesty unveiled a commemorative bronze sculpture.


Jenny Rowe, Chief Executive of The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, said: "I am extremely honoured that Her Majesty was able to undertake the official opening of the Court.


"The Court will educate as well as adjudicate and one of our fundamental aims is to be as transparent as possible in its judgments and proceedings. These are routinely filmed and will be made available to broadcasters, which is a first for the UK. In the coming months we will be developing our education and outreach work – so there are exciting times ahead."


Ends


Notes to editors


  • Established through the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, the Supreme Court will hear civil appeal cases from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as criminal appeal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It takes over the devolution jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC). The JCPC continues to be the final court of appeal for certain Commonwealth countries and other jurisdictions, such as Crown Dependencies.

  • The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords.

  • The JCPC now sits in the same building as the Supreme Court, having moved from its previous accommodation at 9 Downing Street.

  • Judges who attended the Official Opening included:

    Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr, Chief Justice of the United States

    Honorable Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of The Supreme Court of the United States

    Honorable Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of The Supreme Court of the United States

    The Rt Hon Dame Sian Elias, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of New Zealand

    The Rt Hon Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Canada

    The Honourable Justice Susan Kiefel, High Court of Australia

    Honourable Mr Justice K G Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of India

    Chief Justice Pius Langa, Constitutional Court, South Africa

    The Hon Chief Justice Andrew Li, High Court, Hong Kong

    Dorit Beinisch, President of The Supreme Court of Israel

    The Rt Hon Dame Joan Sawyer, President of The Court of Appeal of the Bahamas

    Hon Chief Justice Richard W Ground OBE, The Court of Appeal of Bermuda

    Hon Chief Justice Anthony Smellie QC, The Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands

    Hon Chief Justice Lord Christopher Gardner QC, Falkland Islands and British Indian Ocean Territory

    Hon Chief Justice (Acting) Anthony Dudley, The Supreme Court of Gibraltar

    Hon Justice Frederick Bruce-Lyle, Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court

    Hon Justice Michael Kerruish QC, High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man

    Hon Judge Charles Blackie, Pitcairn Islands

    Hon Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Trinidad and Tobago

    Hon Justice Richard Williams, Turks and Caicos Islands

    Madame Pauliine Koskelo, President of The Supreme Court of Finland

    Monsieur Vincent Lamandat, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of France

    Prof. Dr Klaus Tolksdorf, President of The Supreme Court of Germany

    The Hon Mr Justice John Morgan, Chief Justice of The Supreme Court of Ireland

    Monsieur Vincenzo Carbone, First President of The Supreme Court of Italy

    Prof. Dr hab Lech Gardocki, First President of The Supreme Court of Poland

    Monsieur Franc Testen, President of The Supreme Court of Slovenia

    Vassilios Skouris, President of The European Court of Justice

    Sir Nicolas Bratza, Vice President of The European Court of Human Rights

    Chief Justice Johan Munck, Supreme Court of Sweden

Contacts:

Sian Lewis

Tel: 020 7960 1886

sian.lewis@supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk


Robert Boyland

Tel: 020 7960 1887

robert.boyland@supremecourt.gsi.gov.uk


The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Parliament Square London SW1P 3BD
T: 020 7960 1886/1887 F: 020 7960 1901
www.supremecourt.gov.uk"
Twittered at Law_Pundit at the link @Law_Pundit

LawPundit reported on this development already last March in Whatever Happened to the House of Lords? A Supreme Court of the United Kingdom will take up work Starting in October 2009.

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