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Many were sceptical about whether the House of Lords needed replacing. Some even said the concept for the Supreme Court had been one that was drawn up on the back of a “fag packet”.
But just how has the Supreme Court, the brainchild of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, faired in its first year?
The President of the Supreme Court Lord Phillips said its creation had been to “make plain to this country that we have an independent Supreme Court that has nothing to do with Parliament”.
That meant creating a higher profile for the Supreme Court justices in an effort to keep the public informed of the decisions they make.
They’ve been bold and progressive in several of the cases so far, including the recent asylum/sexual orientation case - HJ (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. The deputy president of the Supreme Court Lord Hope chaired a five-strong panel that said that gay asylum seekers can establish refugee status if the evidence shows that they would in fact conceal their sexual identity in order to avoid persecution.
Another big decision to be pushed through the Supreme Court is the Office of Fair Trading v Barclays Bank & Ors case. Seven high street banks and a building society celebrated victory after the court ruled that an investigation into the fairness of unauthorised overdraft fees was beyond the scope of the OFT.
Meanwhile, we can’t forget the case of US Department of Justice v Ian Norris. The court ruled against Ian Norris, the retired chief executive of Morgan Crucible wanted on charges related to obstruction of justice in connection to an earlier case against him for price fixing.
So all in all practitioners have enjoyed the first year of the Supreme Court.
Abolishing the House of Lords may have not been welcomed by everyone but at least the Supreme Court appears to have won some reluctant fans.