Supreme Court operating costs leap by one fifth


The net cost of running the Supreme Court rose by almost one fifth last year, the 10-year-old court’s annual report reveals. In the year to 31 March the figure – which excludes changes to the valuation of the building – was £6.1m, up from £5.2m in 2018-19. 

Supreme Court

According to the report, the court now employs 63 people, including the 12 justices, up from 59 the previous year. It comments: ‘Staffing has increased as we have needed to review business areas and ensure the appropriate resources are in place to support the justices and the functions of a busy working court with additional objectives to promote the rule of law and support visitors to the building each day.’

Other investments included an update of video technology, which Lord Reed, president, says enabled the court to continue to hand down judgments and hear cases despite the lockdown. 

Over the year the Supreme Court heard 81 appeals and delivered 54 judgments. The largest single subject of judgments was tax, followed by employment, EU law and judicial review. Among the cases summarised in the report is R (on the application of Miller) v The Prime Minister,  which led to last September’s prorogation ruling.  

Chief executive Mark Ormerod reveals that, following last year’s sittings in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff, ‘we are now working on the court sitting elsewhere in 2020’. 



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