Answering a Clri/Els Question - Supreme Court

Topics: Supreme court, Appellate court, Court Pages: 4 (1097 words) Published: April 13, 2013
Answering a CLRI/ELS Question - Supreme Court

As promised today, let's consider a question from Common Law Reasoning and Institutions (as it is named on the University of London International Programmes Syllabus) or English Legal System as named by some other Universities' syllabus.

This is a question previously posed on the University of London Internationl LLB Programme’s 2010 CLRI (ELS) Examination paper. It reads:

"The role and functions of a court of appeal and a supreme court are different. The United Kingdom has created a Supreme Court in name but not in function; it would be better if no change had been made." Discuss.

This is a very good question for you to display your research and analysis skills. The first thing to do in preparing to answer the question, is to not only consider the framework of the UK Court system but also think what 'a' Supreme Court does. So the basic approach to this question can be broken down into five sub-parts:

What is an appeal Court?
What is a Supreme Court?
What are the functions of the two?
A statement is made – it would have been better if no change had been made - - what do you think (but not using the words ‘I think’ - - but making submissions) What about the fact the HL sat in the Legislative upper chamber?


Whilst the first statement appears a truism, taken as a whole the entire statement does not necessarily appear accurate. Indeed, the role and function of an appeal court is largely to exercise appellate jurisdiction for lower courts. Conversely, a Supreme Court suggests a more constitutional role, with the ability to scrutinise and, where possible, intervene in unconstitutional matters. The Supreme Court in the UK has been the result of an evolution in the UK, which has seen a physical change. However, whether in substance, i.e., whether it has been more than a name change, has to analysed and, further, reviewed as to whether maintaining the status quo...
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