This article deals with the Short Note on the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

The Supreme Court of the UK is the Supreme Court in all matters under English and Welsh law, Northern Irish law, and Scottish Civil law. It is the court of last resort and the highest appellate court in the UK, although the high court of the judiciary remains the Supreme Court for criminal cases in Scotland.

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The Supreme Court was established by Part 3 of the constitutional reform act 2005 and started work on 1st October 2009. It assumed the judicial functions of the House of Lords, which had been exercised by the Lords of Appeal in ordinary or commonly called “Law Lords”.

Due to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, the Supreme Court is much more limited in its power of judicial review than the Supreme Court of some other countries. It cannot overturn any primary legislation, such as Act of Parliament or statutes made by the parliament. However, it can overturn secondary legislation such as statutory instruments called codes, orders, regulation rules.

Jurisdiction of Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The main role of the Supreme Court is to hear appeals from courts in the United Kingdom three legal system-England and Whales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. English and Welsh law differ only to the extent that the National Assembly for Whales makes law for Wales that differ from those of England, and the two countries have a shared code system.

The Supreme Court acts as the highest court for civil appeals from the Court of Session in Scotland, but the highest court for criminal cases is kept in Scotland. The Supreme focus is on cases that raise points of law of general public importance. As with the former Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, appeals from many fields of law are likely to be selected for hearing including commercial disputes, family matters. For example divorce, custody, judicial review claims against public authorities, and issues under the human rights act 1998.

Composition of Supreme Court

The court is composed of 12 members. They are the President, Deputy President, and ten other judges. The British judges are obliged to retire at 15 years. In addition to the 12 permanent judges, there is a provision of senior judges to be appointed as “acting judges” of the Supreme Court.

Appointment Process of Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The constitutional reform act 2005 makes provision for a new appointment process for justices of the Supreme Court. A selection commission is to be formed when vacancies arise. The selection committee includes the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court and members of the Judicial Appointment Commission of England and Wales, the Judicial Appointment Board for Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointment Commission. New judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation will not necessarily receive peerages. However, they are given the country title of Lord or Lady upon appointment.

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