Saturday, December 12, 2009

The UK's New Supreme Court

This past October, Britain's new Supreme Court kicked off its first term.  In the past, the UK's highest court was a group of "law lords" who were actually part of Parliament.  However, beginning on October 1, 2009, under the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005, the court was removed from Parliament and a new, independent Supreme Court was created.

The British Supreme Court does not have the same power of judicial review that the United States Supreme Court has--it may not strike down statutes as being unconstitutional--but separating the new Supreme Court from Parliament will provide additional independence and the new court has the power to declare that laws are incompatible with human rights norms, thus sending laws back to Parliament for refinement.

For some additional commentary on the new British Supreme Court, see this National Law Journal OpEd.

~clf

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civpro/2009/12/the-uks-new-supreme-court.html

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