Consultation paper on UK supreme court

A consultation paper on a supreme court for the UK has been published as a PDF file.

At last we see what was meant by ‘a supreme court’.

From the executive summary:

bq. The paper sets out the Government’s proposal to remove the jurisdiction of the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and transfer it to a new Supreme Court. This would be a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom, and would be quite separate from the England and Wales or Scottish or Northern Ireland courts. The present Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the 12 full-time Law Lords) would form the initial members of the new Court. They would cease, while members of the Court, to be able to sit and vote in the House of Lords. There is no proposal to create a Supreme Court on the US model with the power to overturn legislation. Nor is there any proposal to create a specific constitutional court, or one whose primary role would be to give preliminary rulings on difficult points of law.

There is also the question of whether the jurisdiction of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council should be transferred to this new court, which the government would prefer.

Discussion will centre on how appointments are to be made, what title the judges should have, whether there should be experienced part-time judges helping out (as they do now), and how to ensure there are enough representatives of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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