Supreme Court of United Kingdom

In October 2009, the Supreme Court replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords as the highest court in the United Kingdom.

The Supreme Court's 12 Justices maintain the highest standards set by the Appellate Committee, but are now explicitly separate from both Government and Parliament.

The Supreme Court, as well as being the final court of appeal, plays an important role in the development of United Kingdom law.

As an appeal court, the Supreme Court cannot consider a case unless a relevant order has been made in a lower court.

The Supreme Court:
* is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland
* hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance
* concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance
* maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common law world

Additionally, it hears cases on devolution matters under the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006. This jurisdiction was transferred to the Supreme Court from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The Supreme Court sits in the former Middlesex Guildhall, on the western side of Parliament Square.

The official website of the Supreme Court features Decided cases; Court procedures; Visiting the Court; About the Supreme Court; News and publications.

Share this page

Guide ID: 3141 - Last Updated: August 21, 2013