Access arrangements for FirstGroup Plc v Paulley
FirstGroup Plc (Respondent) v Paulley (Appellant)
Wednesday 15 June 2016
We are aware that a number of visitors with mobility-impairments, including wheelchair users, are keen to attend the Supreme Court hearing in the above matter on Wednesday 15 June.
The Supreme Court has taken advice in order to assess the safe working capacity of its historic listed building, in terms of the number of wheelchair users that could be evacuated safely in event of an emergency.
Independent advice suggests that the maximum number is 14 wheelchairs on the first and second floors of the building. We are therefore making plans to accommodate up to eight wheelchairs (including Mr Paulley) in Court One (the Supreme Court's largest courtroom) and a further six wheelchairs in an overflow viewing area where proceedings will be shown live on a large TV screen. This is to ensure that wheelchairs are distributed relatively evenly between floors to minimise evacuation time.
After discussion with Mr Paulley's legal representatives, eight wheelchair users with a close connection to his case have been given a priority place in the courtroom. Most of the six additional spaces for wheelchair users in the overflow room were allocated via a ballot, run between 9-13 June via this website. This process was designed to offer wheelchair users clarity on whether or not there will be an allocated space for them in advance, and therefore avoid disappointment and unnecessary journeys on the day of the hearing.
One or two wheelchair spaces remain available following the ballot process and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the hearing.
It may be helpful to remind those with an interest in the case that Supreme Court proceedings are live streamed via our website, and you are welcome to follow the proceedings on Supreme Court Live.
Full footage from the courtroom will also be available 'on demand' from the day after the hearing, to enable those unable to attend or to watch live the opportunity to view proceedings at their convenience.
The hearing will begin at 10am and the building will open to the public at 9am (half an hour earlier than usual).
We do not anticipate a similarly high demand from those using pushchairs/buggies, though in this instance we would ask that such equipment is left outside of the courtroom while babies and infants can be seated with their carer inside the courtroom.