Access to the Supreme Court building
Members of the public
Members of the public wishing to visit the building between 5-8 December are advised that we are expecting a large number of visitors on these days, and those not specifically coming to observe the hearings in R (on the application of Miller & Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union are encouraged to choose other days to visit the building.
The Supreme Court has scheduled the hearing to be held in the largest courtroom, and has made arrangements for two 'overflow' courtrooms where a live video feed of the proceedings will be shown. Even with these arrangements in place, we do expect that demand for seats is likely to exceed the number of spaces we can safely make available to the public.
For this reason, a queuing system will be put in place for each day of the hearing, with those arriving earliest being offered seats in the courtroom once public admission begins; once Court One is full, a further tranche of visitors will be allowed into the overflow rooms. The court building will open to the public (i.e. for those queuing) at 10am on Monday, and 9.30am on Tuesday-Thursday; the hearing will begin one hour after that each morning.
Those allocated a seat in Court One will be able to leave for short periods and return during the day without losing their seat, but places are allocated per day and each morning we will allocate spaces in court on a first come first served basis.
Please note that, in line with the Court's usual practice, items of clothing or other materials bearing messages that undermine the dignity of the court or which seek to interfere with the proper administration of justice will not be permitted into the building.
Please also be aware there are no cloakroom facilities at the Supreme Court and public are discouraged from bringing bulky items of luggage into the building. All visitors will be security scanned upon arrival and to speed this process up we ask that all visitors refrain from bringing sharp objects (such as nail scissors) with them to the court building.
Due to the large number of parties and interveners in this case, and the legal representation associated with each of them, Court One will be very busy. We have placed significant restrictions on the number of lawyers seated in court to ensure that we can offer places to members of the public and accredited media representatives. We have also added as many extra seats as we can safely accommodate in the courtroom. This means we will be able to allocate around 25 seats for the public in court (alongside 25 seats for pre-accredited media) which we appreciate means it is likely that not all who would like a seat will be able to be accommodated.
While there will be overflow courtrooms relaying proceedings, offering around 100 additional seats, we repeat our strong advice that all those keen to observe the hearing do so using one of the various live web streams available, rather than travel to the Court and risk the disappointment of not getting a seat in court.
The entire proceedings will be streamed live via the Supreme Court website and various broadcasters are also running complementary feeds.
As has been widely reported, judgment will not follow immediately on conclusion of the hearing. We expect that a decision will follow in the New Year: we will issue an alert in advance of the date of publication.
Registry access: 5 December 2016
Please note that the Registry counter of both the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council will be closed on the first day of the hearing, 5 December 2016, in order to ease congestion around the building.
Supreme Court staff present in the building while the Registry counter is closed will not be able to accept papers on behalf of the Court. If your time limit for filing documents expires on 5 December 2016, it will be extended automatically until 6 December 2016. Please note that this does not mean that documents due on or after 6 December 2016 are subject to any automatic extension.