News release

03/2018 - News release

UK Supreme Court's 2017/18 Annual Report and Accounts published

5 June 2018

Today, the 2017/18 Annual Report and Accounts of the Supreme Court was laid in Parliament, covering the Court's eighth full financial year.

Writing her first foreword as President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale charts changes to the bench. During the reporting period, between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018, there have been changes to the President, Deputy President and Justices.

Following her appointment as the first woman President of the Supreme Court in October 2017, Lady Hale notes: "It was a very proud moment when I was sworn in as President and I am deeply grateful to those who have placed such confidence in me." She also pays tribute to the former President, Lord Neuberger, for his intellectual eminence and many contributions to the law and to the judiciary, adding: "If I leave the Court in as happy a place as he left it, I shall count my time here a success."

Lady Hale expresses gratitude for the support that Lord Toulson gave the Court, following his retirement in the summer of 2016, by sitting as a retired Justice on the Supplementary Panel, and reiterated that "our sympathies remain with Lady Toulson, and with all his family and friends" following his unexpected death in June 2017.

The summer of 2017 saw the retirement of both Lord Neuberger and Lord Clarke, who was the first of the new Justices to join the Court when it was established in 2009. Lady Hale welcomes the three new Justices who joined the Court in October 2017 - Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones and Lord Briggs - noting that "it was a particular pleasure" to have a second female justice bench and highlighting that Lord Lloyd-Jones was the first person to take the Judicial Oath in Welsh as well as in English. Lord Mance was also confirmed as the new Deputy President of the Supreme Court. The Annual Report highlights the Court's historic first sitting outside of London, which took place in Edinburgh for four days in June 2017. In her foreword Lady Hale mentions the preparations for the Court's sitting in Belfast, which took place between 30 April and 3 May 2018, and signposts the next visit to Cardiff in 2019. She writes: "We are very conscious that we are the Supreme Court for the whole of the United Kingdom and must not appear to be trapped in a London 'bubble'.

Adding a new dimension to the many outreach activities of the Justices and Court, in June 2017 a new Writing Competition launched. The purpose of this initiative was to encourage students to develop their knowledge of law, their interest in the work of the Supreme Court and to hone their research skills. It attracted applications from young people across the UK, and the Court is planning the launch of the next one in coming months.

Supreme Court hearings and Permission to Appeal applications

The Report sets out how the Supreme Court heard 85 appeals and delivered 78 judgments. The number of applications for permission to appeal considered by the Justices increase to 228 (a 19% increase from 192 in 2016/17). In considering those applications, the 'grant rate' of cases given permission to appeal decreased slightly to 29% (from 35% in 2016/17).

Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which is co-located with the Supreme Court and shares the Court's administration, heard 43 appeals during 2017/18, which is four less than the previous year (43 compared to 47) though gave more judgments (44 compared to 38). There was a considerable increase in cases being brought from the Committee's various overseas jurisdictions (there were 113 applications for permission to appeal received over the year, compared to 60 last year).

The Report reveals that a key development during 2017/18 has been the use of video link equipment, to reduce the need for parties to travel for London for brief hearings. Following a successful pilot in 2016, permanent equipment has been installed in Court Three, where the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council sits, to allow for greater use of this technology in future. In his introduction, Mark Ormerod, the Chief Executive, notes that work to further improve this service will continue in the coming year.

Financial information

In financial terms, the Court's net operating cost (this excludes changes to the valuation of the building) decreased slightly to £4.7m (from £4.9m in 2016/17). The accounts show that the Supreme Court and JCPC spent £12.76m during 2017/18 (£6.1m of which was judicial and staff costs), and recouped almost £1.16m in court fees, contributions from the UK court services, and other income.

The Statement of Comprehensive Net Expenditure represents the net total resources consumed during the year. The results for the year are set out in the Statement. The Annual Report also sets out how the Court met its commitments in areas including international relations, sustainability and information assurance.

The Report was presented to Parliament under Section 54(1) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The accounts were presented to the House of Commons under Section 6(4) of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000.

The full Report and Accounts can be found by clicking the link below.


UKSC contact:

Sophia Linehan-Biggs - Head of Communications
020 7960 1887

Useful links