13 things that happened during the Supreme Court’s Facebook livestream

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By Katie King on

Justices talk Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Liz Truss and much more in video interview

The Supreme Court’s Scottish road trip has come to an end, but alongside hearing three appeals the justices have found time to take part in a Facebook livestream.

Lord Neuberger, Lord Hodge, Lord Reed and Lady Hale sat down with the Law Society of Scotland to talk Brexit, devolution, that Daily Mail headline, and much more. Here are 13 of the more interesting things that happened.

1) We learnt Hale goes to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Every year!

2) Neuberger compared the Daily Mail to a Nazi newspaper

Discussing the Article 50 Miller case, the president of the court said: “For some reason, [the High Court’s decision] seems to have taken the politicians and the journalists by surprise. There was a serious overreaction, as exemplified by the Daily Mail’s frontpage the next day, with its disturbing echoes to a very similar front page of a 1933 Nazi newspaper.”

3) Reed spun on his chair a lot

Hodge a bit too, but Reed more so.

4) We learnt how the court decides which justices sit on which case

President Neuberger and deputy president Hale, working with a registrar, divvy up the cases between the justices. While Neuberger noted no one has “an absolute right” to sit on a case, they try to make sure cases are heard by people with relevant expertise.

5) Hale said she wants more Scottish people to visit the Supreme Court

She also thinks the building has a “wonderful café”.

6) There was an awkward confrontation between the justices and a lawyer whose permission to appeal to the Supreme Court had been rejected

There was lots of laughter, especially when Reed admitted he was on the panel.

7) Neuberger made a joke about Liz Truss, people laughed

In the wake of the Article 50 High Court decision, the Lord Chief Justice and Neuberger couldn’t speak out against press attacks because both were involved in the case. “And the Lord Chancellor couldn’t speak out… well, the Lord Chancellor didn’t speak out,” Neuberger quipped.

8) Reed gave us some commercial awareness gold

He reckons the treatment of persons suspected of terrorism and the law of privacy will be the hot legal topics of the near future.

9) Neuberger admitted he was nervous about the Article 50 case

“It was because of the public pressure.”

10) Hale dropped her notes on the floor while Reed was talking about Brexit

It made Hodge smile.

11) Neuberger said he thinks it was good all 11 justices sat on the Miller case, because then nobody felt “left out”

He also reckoned a bench of nine could lead to speculation a different decision would have been reached had the two missing justices sat instead.

12) Hodge likes single judgments

He realises these make practitioners’ lives easier. We salute you Hodge.

13) We may be in for a Miller part two

Is the Article 50 case a one-off or a sign of things to come? Neuberger’s unsure. He says there’s a “danger” the Supreme Court will be “dragged” into the political issue of the day, and for the near future it seems likely this political issue will be Brexit.

Watch the video interview in full below:

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