1 October 2009 marks a defining moment in the constitutional history of the United Kingdom: transferring judicial authority away from the House of Lords, and creating a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom in the historic setting of the former Middlesex Guildhall on Parliament Square.
In this location, The Supreme Court forms part of a pre-existing quadrangle made up of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Treasury.
As civil administration developed, it tended to be conducted by the Justices of the Peace and its offices were often co-located with the first tier of the courts.
This close association reached a peak in the latter half of the nineteenth century, since when the two activities have tended to separate. In April 2005, all Magistrates’ Court houses were transferred from the care of County Councils to the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA).
The judicial role of the House of Lords evolved over more than 600 years, originally from the work of the royal court.
The home of the new Supreme Court will be an impressive building in an historic location directly linked with the law for nearly a millennium.
Photo appears courtesy of Westminster City Archives.