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

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:

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub here.

10 Comments

Anonymous

I think the Registrar in the various courts and tribunals and at various tiers is a very interesting civil servant post.

If anyone knows what grade(s) they tend to be, I would be thrilled to find out.

You see, if a Registrar knows the Judges well, the mere allocation of a case by him or her could determine its outcome.

I half expect that they will be Senior Civil Servant grade, particularly in the Supreme Court, where, if the ‘wrong’ judge (s) sits the law will go a particular unwanted way.

An undercurrent that I am right is present in the report here on the 11 v 9 comment, which is why I have put my head over the parapet.

The two missing judges in a court of 9 could have made a difference, it is said. It is the same anytime – one particular judge over another at first instance. Two over two others at appellate level.

The issue peeped out when someone realized that Lord Hoffman might want to extradite General Pinochet for war crimes in Chile even though HMG asserted that he was too ill and old to stand trial, and Hoffman got pulled off, once allocated, because (luckily for the Registrar who had made an allocatrion mistake, if I am correct with my suspicion) he was or had been a member of Amnesty International.

So, please can someone give me an approximate grade 🙂

(0)(2)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

Thanks. That is 2013 data, interestingly. I think I am wrong to get a thumbs down, see page 74.

Grade 7 in 2013 was £103.9 k and 6.1 is £129.5k

One doesn’t get those sorts of salaries for what must be a comparable job, on the face of it, to organizing a school timetable.

I expect that appraisal of cases and judges is part of the job description, in one way or another.

Curious that it would have been a Grade 7 who messed up listing Lord Hoffman and risking the extradition of General Pinochet, whereas, had it been the criminal appeal registrar, it would have been a higher grade 6 decision maker.

Thanks again for the data comrade !

(1)(1)
Reply Report comment
SingaporeSwing

I’m sorry, but the suggestion that the Registrar could influence the outcome of a case by the appointment of UKSC panels is absolutely ridiculous. He or she might know the predispositions of judges to particular issues, but forecasting the way a judge will vote is all but impossible.

The job is well paid because it is an important job: a suitably qualified person will have to liaise between parties, the court, busy diary secretaries and many other people.

Absolutely ridiculous.

(2)(0)
Reply Report comment
Anonymous

Illuminate us as to how the Registrar is also unable to influence the outcome of a case lower down by appointing one Judge over another, to see if you can get home on that. That is a harder case to prove.

Against you is the fact that for the highest judges in the US Supreme Court, it is taken as read that their personal views on Legal issues are such that the President selects or blocks their promotion in order to deliberately set the legal climate on legal/political matters. Here we do not have the President doing this, but the stroke of the administrative appointment pen is just the same, whether you are a President or a Grade 7 judicial officer.

(0)(0)
Reply Report comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.