Lord Phillips: A view from the Supreme Court
By Lara Carim, on 9 February 2011
Funding arrangements do not “satisfactorily guarantee” the Supreme Court’s institutional independence, said Lord Phillips (President of the Court) in his lecture at UCL on 8 February, which marked the launch of the Constitution Unit’s project on the politics of judicial independence.
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According to Ruchi Parekh, an intern at the UCL Constitution Unit, “Lord Phillips noted that because the original revenue streams envisaged for the court have not produced the amounts anticipated (Supreme Court souvenirs were one of the more unusual elements of this original plan), the court has effectively become dependent on a contribution from the Ministry of Justice in England and Wales for its operation – a stark contrast with the secure line of funding originally envisaged by Parliament for the new court. The result of this is that there is a ‘tendency on the part of the Ministry of Justice to try to gain the Supreme Court as an outlying part of its empire’.”