Plans to reform Supreme Court last gasps of ‘weirdos at No 10’

Plans to reform Supreme Court last gasps of ‘weirdos at No 10’

Plans to change the name of the Supreme Court have been described as “ill-thought out” and a “cheap act of revenge”

Ministers were reported yesterday to be planning to reduce the number of judges on the court and to bring in specialist to hear specific cases. Justice Secretary Robert Buckland QC is to recommend that the changes be made.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, a former attorney general, said the plans perhaps came from the Ministry Justice and Mr Buckland or that “they are the last gasps of the so-called weirdos at No 10 who answered to Dominic Cummings”. 

Lord Sumption, a former Supreme Court justice, rejected the idea.

He told The Times: “Abolishing or downgrading the most prestigious common law court in the world is an extraordinary act of self-laceration which can only reduce our influence and the attraction of London as a dispute resolution centre,” adding that the proposal “appeared to be a cheap act of revenge”.

Dean of Faculty, Roddy Dunlop QC said: “Quite how changing the name of the court or cutting the number of judges would make a difference is beyond me. Quite why any responsible legislature would want to restrict scrutiny is incomprehensible. If you lose a case for acting wrongfully, change your ways – not the courts.”

Lord Pannick QC said: “One would have thought the government had more important priorities than floating a bizarre suggestion that the best way to promote the independence of the judiciary is to rename the Supreme Court, cut the number of judges and bring in experts.

“Particularly when the motivation appears to be that the government lost a case last year. That is what sometimes happens when you have an independent judiciary.”

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