Open Days and Open House London Weekend

Open Days and Open House London Weekend

Open Day

  • Friday 21 September - 0930 to 1630

Supreme Court Library

Download

Open Day programme 2018 (PDF)

Come and explore the highest court in the land!

The Supreme Court will be hosting several Open Days throughout the summer months. These events are completely free. With a packed programme of activities lined-up, there's something for everyone, so don't miss out!

Programme highlights on these special days:

  • Visit three beautiful courtrooms and explore the building's extensive artwork collection. Don't miss our rather funky bespoke, pop-art carpet created by the godfather of pop-art himself, Sir Peter Blake.
  • Explore rarely seen parts of the building which are not normally on show, including the magnificent triple-height Library, which is a hidden gem not usually open to the public.
  • Browse the exhibition area, where you can learn more about the Supreme Court, the cases it hears, and the history of its building.
  • Attend one of our interactive workshops (advanced booking recommended).
  • Listen to talks from experienced members of staff who will give insights into the work of the Court.
  • Take part in a range of activities for younger visitors, including arts and crafts, a dress-up box and our popular 'Legal Eagle Trail'.
  • Watch a short film that introduces the role of the Supreme Court in the Lawyer's Suite, overlooking Parliament Square.

Interactive Workshops - Be a Justice!

New to our Open Days this summer, we will be offering a series of interactive workshops, led by Dr. David Yuratich, a law lecturer at Royal Holloway University.

These workshops will be aimed at age 14 and above. No prior knowledge of the law is required.

During the workshops, you will discuss and debate a real-life case which came before the Judges here at the Supreme Court. How did the case make it to the final court of appeal? What were the issues at stake? Why and how did the judges reach their decision and what were the implications of the judgment? Do you agree with the final outcome? How would you have voted on this case if you were a Supreme Court Justice?

13:00

Bull and another (Appellants) v Hall and another (Respondents)

This was a fascinating case which came before the Supreme Court in 2013 and concerns the law on equality and non-discrimination. Mr and Mrs Bull are devout Christians. They run a private hotel, and they refused to allow a gay couple in a civil partnership (Mr Hall and Mr Preddy) to stay in a double room, because their policy was not to let double rooms to any unmarried couple. Mr Hall and Mr Preddy took the owners to court, arguing that this policy discriminated against them on the grounds of sexual orientation, because gay couples could not at that time marry. The Christian owners argued in response that their policy was not about sexual orientation, but was an expression of their deeply-held convictions that sex outside of marriage was sinful. They said that it would breach their right to freedom of religion in Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights if they were required to change their policy.

Book here.

Places on these workshops are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Act fast to book your free place in advance.

15:00

Isle of Wight Council (Appellant) v Platt (Respondent)

Mr Platt wanted to take his daughter on holiday. As the prices are much more expensive during school holidays, he decided to take her out of school for a holiday during term-time even though the school had refused him permission to do so. The local authority issued a fine under the Education Act 1996 because he had caused his daughter to fail to attend school regularly. Mr Platt refused to pay the fine and he successfully argued before Magistrates that, because his daughter had very good attendance, she was still attending school 'regularly' and that he had done nothing wrong. The Council appealed and the case ended up in the Supreme Court, which was asked to decide what the 'regular attendance' means under the Education Act 1996.

Book here.

Places on these workshops are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Act fast to book your free place in advance.


A Supreme Court member of staff giving a talk to visitors

Talks and tours

Throughout the day, Court staff will deliver a series of informal talks and tours. Topics will include the restoration and conservation of the building, the history of women in law and recruitment at the Supreme Court. There will also be the opportunity to put your questions to the Chief Executive in our very own Question Time style session!

Café

If all this sounds like thirsty work, rest assured that we have a lovely café that serves hot and cold drinks in addition to a wide range of fresh sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Special offers will be available throughout the summer.

Open Days are free and places at events and activities are designated on a first-come, first-served basis unless otherwise stated.

If the Court reaches capacity we will allow access on a one-in, one-out basis.

Please note, photography will take place throughout the day.

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Open House London Weekend

  • Saturday 22 September - 1000 to 1700 (last entry at 1615)
  • Sunday 23 September - 1000 to 1700 (last entry at 1615)
Download

Open Day programme 2018 (PDF)

The Supreme Court is also taking part in Open House London, offering the visitors the opportunity to visit our building out of our normal business hours. On these days, visitors will be able to visit the courtrooms, the library and the Lawyers' Suite. We will be screening a film introducing the work of the court at regular intervals and there will be creative activities for younger visitors.

Our doors will be open from 10:00 to 17:00 (last entry at 16:15), and entrance is free. Our cafe and gift shop on the lower ground floor will be open during these hours.

Please note that the event has been very popular in past years (often with queues of around 20 minutes to gain access to the building) and we would encourage you to arrive early, certainly well ahead of 16:15, to avoid disappointment.

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