Feature

Seven fun facts about next week’s Supreme Court Brexit case

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Ever wondered how many cups of tea the court’s café is expecting to serve? Wonder no more!

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We are just days away from round two of the momentous Brexit judicial review case, scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court Monday-Thursday next week.

The appeal, brought by the government, focuses on the legalities of triggering Article 50. The respondents will argue this piece of EU law cannot be lawfully invoked by prerogative power alone, and must be conditional on a free vote in parliament.

While its this constitutional law jargon that’s taken centre stage in the run-up to the case, please spare a thought for the people who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes at the Supreme Court. The task of putting on this Miller hearing has been a mammoth one, as these amazing stats show.

1. The justices’ bench has been changed to squeeze more people on

The Supreme Court has never, ever sat with every justice, meaning this eleven-strong bench will be a historic first (a nod to the importance of this case). To accommodate these judicial bigwigs, it has been revealed some physical changes have been made to the bench. Though Legal Cheek had high hopes Lord Neuberger would being hearing submissions sat on an old deck chair he found in his garage, the court has confirmed this isn’t the case.

2. Supreme Court TV has been upgraded to help meet demand

One of the unlikely successes of recent times has been the appeal court’s livestreaming service, which allows people to tap in and out of hearings from the comfort of their own home. The Supreme Court team has increased the estimated capacity to up to 300,000 viewers at a time in prep for the Brexit case.

3. More people are visiting the court

Since the government announced its intention to appeal the High Court’s controversial ruling, visits to the Westminster-based building have increased by 15% (when compared to November last year).

4. The hearing will be streamed on the BBC and Channel 4

Specifically the BBC News website and Channel 4 News’ Facebook page.

5. A ton of journalists are expected to attend

More than 80 journalists are accredited to cover the event (including Legal Cheek!) This is the highest number the court has dealt with since Julian Assange’s European Arrest Warrant appeal back in 2012.

6. The Supreme Court’s website has experienced a spike in visitors

Partly in thanks to the Brexit challenge, the number of website visitors has risen 70% (up from the same month last year) to 120,000.

7. There is going to be loads of tea

If the constitutional law intricacies of the Miller hearing get too much for you, take solace in the knowledge additional catering staff have been hired to help meet the court’s expected demand. In fact, its public café reckons it will serve around 600 cups of tea or coffee every day the hearing is taking place — that’s 2,400 cups over the full, four-day hearing.