Blog Supreme

By | 1st October 2009

I have to thank Jon Robins of the newspaper City A.M. for the reference in his article on 30th September entitled ‘Pop Art and poetry in the Supreme Court‘ for alerting me to the existence of a newish blog about the Supreme Court which opens its doors for business today, 1st October.

The blog (  edited by Hugh Tomlinson QC and colleagues from Matrix Chambers and Olswang has set out since May 2009 to comment on the new court and its workings. As is well known, the new court replaces the Law Lords who, according to the blog’s strap line, have sat within Parliament for over 600 years since 1399.

A quick browse of the article and the blog reveal that:

  •  The ongoing dispute between Lord Phillips and Lord Neuberger rumbles on with Tomlinson himself reckoning that the new court will “herald a different culture” and Malcolm Davis-White QC, vice chairman of the Chancery Bar Association arguing that the Supreme Court is, on its constitutional merits, “totally unnecessary”.
  • Speculation continues about the identity of the 12th Supreme Court Justice. How like the US that sounds! I think I prefer the more British “Law Lord” but that is in no way intended to be anti American.
  • After Lord Neuberger had accepted the post of Master of the Rolls (how traditionally British that sounds!), there were only 11 judges left and 12 are needed. The remaining judges are Lord Phillips and Baroness Hale and Lords Brown, Collins, Clarke, Hope, Kerr, Mance, Rodger, Saville and Walker. The selection process for number 12 may well take until the New Year.
  • The Queen has approved the use of the address “Lord” or “Lady” for the justices even though it seems that new appointees will not be made life peers. How very New Labour and somewhat churlish!
  • The cost of renovating the old Middlesex Guildhall Building in Parliament Square was £59 million and includes new carpets which the Sunday Times architecture critic described as “alarmingly garish”. Did the idea come from Lord Irvine, fresh from his much publicised refurbishment of the Lord Chancellor’s offices or from the muddled thinking of his replacement Lord Falconer who mismanaged the abolition (sic) of his own job as Lord Chancellor?
  • The previous Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, has written words which are on the benches outside the new courtroom. “Here Justice sits and lifts her steady scale within the Abbey’s sight and Parliament’s but independent of them both”.

Whatever your views, the Supreme Court is now a reality. The King may be dead, but long live his successor. It remains to be seen if it will survive as long.