UK: Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Constitutional Reform Act 2005This Act created the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and abolished the appellate function of the House of Lords. It also established the Judicial Appointments Commission for the appointment of judges and members of certain tribunals in England and Wales. It provides a disciplinary framework for the English and Welsh judiciary. The judicial function of the Lord Chancellor was also abolished. It created a Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman and provides a mechanism for the removal of judicial appointments holders in Northern Ireland. The Lord Chief Justice acquired the additional titles of President of the Courts of England and Wales and Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales. The new offices of Heads and Deputy Heads of Criminal Justice and of Family Justice respectively were established. The Supreme Court has a President, Deputy President and 12 judges appointed by the Queen. The number of judges can be increased by Order in Council. The title of the judges is Justice of the Supreme Court. The Act contains provisions to ensure that the three jurisdictions of England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are properly represented on the court. The Lord Chancellor, First Minister of Scotland, First Secretary in Wales and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland are all consulted on appointments to the court.The Supreme Court acquired the powers of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in relation to devolution issues under the Scotland Act 1998, Wales Act 1998 and the Northern Ireland Act 1998. It hears appeals on criminal and civil matters from the courts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland and on civil matters only from the Scottish courts. When hearing a case from Scotland it sits as a Scottish court and the case is determined according to the Law of Scotland. The Supreme Courts of England and Wales were renamed the Superior Courts of England and Wales and the Supreme Court of Adjudicature of Northern Ireland became the Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland.

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