UK: QC calls for abolition of Supreme Court

UK: QC calls for abolition of Supreme Court

Credit: UK Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ought to be abolished and have its functions transferred to an appeal court comprising judges drawn from the UK’s three legal jurisdictions, a senior barrister and academic has suggested.

In a paper for the cente-right Policy Exchange think tank, Derrick Wyatt QC, emeritus professor of law at the University of Oxford, said that the Supreme Court displays “excessive judicial activism”, “institutional hubris” and tends “to endorse outcomes which conventional legal reasoning would struggle to sustain”.

“If there is a problem with the judicial approach of the UK Supreme Court, I think it is its willingness on occasion to decide cases on policy grounds, without disclosing an adequate or convincing legal basis,” Mr Wyatt said.

As an alternative to the court, he has proposed a panel of five or more judges drawn from the English and Northern Ireland appeal courts and the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland.

He suggested it be called the Upper Court of Appeal or the UK Final Court of Appeal and that it occupy the current Supreme Court building with the option of sitting in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

“The result of the above change would be to broaden the judicial base of the final court of appeal, and to ensure that all judges sitting at the final stage of appeal were also judges deciding cases at the level below that final stage, and so remained accustomed to the discipline of writing judgments which would be subject to the scrutiny of their fellow judges,” he said.

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