Supreme Court: Role

Supreme Court: Role

Sure, here are some bullet points about the role of the UK’s Supreme Court:

Establishment and Purpose

  • The UK Supreme Court was established in 2009, taking over the judicial functions of the House of Lords.
  • The Court’s primary function is to determine ‘points of law’ of public importance.

Composition and Appointment

  • The Supreme Court consists of twelve Justices who are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister.
  • The Justices of the court, including the President and the Deputy President, are all experienced judges who have demonstrated excellence in the judiciary.

Functions and Powers

  • The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • The Court hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance.
  • It also plays a key role in rule on legal disputes and interpreting the law, particularly where laws are unclear or where there is a conflict of laws.

Decision Making

  • The Court makes decisions based on a majority vote of its Justices. The president of the Court has the deciding vote in case of a tie.
  • In their rulings, the Supreme Court has the authority to change the way that existing laws are applied, in order to make sure they are just and fair.

Impact on Law and Governance

  • The decisions of the Supreme Court have a binding effect on all other courts in the UK. This is known as creating a precedent.
  • The Court protects the rule of law and ensures that both the government and individuals respect laws.

Though fairly new, the Supreme Court plays a crucial role in the UK legal system, upholding the rule of law and influencing significant legal decisions across the nation. Understanding its functions and powers is crucial to understanding the overall governance and judicial system of the UK.