Saturday, August 15, 2009

Video on United Kingdom's New Supreme Court

The House of Lords no longer exercises any judicial function as the highest appellate court of the United Kingdom since July 30th, 2009.

As of October, this function will be taken on by the new Supreme Court.

The BIALL blog (British and Irish Association of Law Librarians) has posted an interview with Lord Mance, one of the 12 Law Lords.

More background information:
  • It took 142 years, but at last Bagehot has got his way -The birth of the supreme court is not just for show. The removal of judges from parliament is a victory for liberty and law (The Guardian, July 30, 2009): "There was no mob to be seen or heard in the House of Lords this week. No sign of a tumbril, or the guillotine either. The untoppled throne still glistened as it always does amid the dark grandeur of Pugin's neo-gothic debating chamber. Voices were, as usual, respectful and measured. Yet be in no doubt that the handful of us who watched or participated in this week's proceedings were in the midst of a very British constitutional revolution. For the past threedays the judicial committee of the House of Lords – that's the 12 law lords to you and me – has been winding up 133 continuous years of lawful business in the Palace of Westminster. Yesterday, in a mix of rulings that ranged from Debbie Purdy's assisted suicide application to the argument about which member of Procul Harum owns the royalties to A Whiter Shade of Pale, the lords delivered their last judgments. A Michelangelo-style day of wrath, though, this was not. In most respects it was judicial business as usual."
  • A potted history of the Law Lords (BBC News, July 30, 2009): "As the Law Lords ruled on Thursday that there must be a clarification of the law on assisted suicide, following a legal challenge by multiple sclerosis sufferer Debbie Purdy, they were handing down their final judgements from the House of Lords. At the same time, an ancient constitutional anomaly was coming to an end. "
  • New Home (The Lawyer, July 15, 2009): "In 1876 the Appellate Jurisdiction Act created the judicial function of the House of Lords, the highest court in England and Wales. At the end of the month the Law Lords will pack up their judicial robes and wigs for the summer break, but they will have heard their last case in the House of Lords. When they return in October they will be supreme justices in the newly opened Supreme Court, sitting in Middlesex Guildhall in Parliament Square. On the surface it appears to be little more than a symbolic move, but in reality it marks the beginning of a new era for the judiciary, which is determined to highlight its transparency credentials."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:27 pm


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