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Significance to the UK

Significance to the UK

Courts are the final arbiter between the citizen and the state, and are therefore a fundamental pillar of the constitution.

The Supreme Court was established to achieve a complete separation between the United Kingdom's senior Judges and the Upper House of Parliament, emphasising the independence of the Law Lords and increasing the transparency between Parliament and the courts.

In August 2009 the Justices moved out of the House of Lords (where they sat as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords) into their own building on the opposite side of Parliament Square. They sat for the first time as a Supreme Court in October 2009.

The impact of Supreme Court decisions extend far beyond the parties involved in any given case, shaping our society, and directly affecting our everyday lives.

For instance, in their first legal year, the Justices gave landmark rulings on access to legal advice for Scottish suspects, the rights of gay asylum seekers, and the weight to be given to pre-nuptial agreements.