There’s now a Supreme Court guidebook for bears

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By Katie King on

Lord Neuberger did the foreword

Book cover

Law enthusiasts can now buy an easy-to-read Supreme Court guide, for bears.

The short picturebook is the work of court artist and bear-lover Isobel Williams, and is based on the two teddies visitors can buy in the court’s gift shop for £18. The book can too be purchased at the Supreme Court’s shop, or from Williams’ website, for £6.95.

Photo via
Photo via

The unofficial publication, which Williams’ described to us as “a love-letter to a building and all its makers”, starts with a foreword from Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger. He states:

The bears who are about to guide you around the Supreme Court are not only very charming creatures; they are also very popular. Since the court opened in 2009, around 2,000 members of the bear family have left the court for new loving homes around the UK and beyond.

The unnamed bears introduce readers to the Supreme Court and its function, clearing up common misconceptions (no gavels, no photography, no jury, etc).

Complete with a series of charming illustrations, the book, ‘The Supreme Court: A guide for bears’ also includes some interesting court titbits. Did you know the Supreme Court displays gifts it has received from other countries? These include marble polar bears from Canada and a bronze horse from China.

And then we get onto the good stuff: the carpet.

On this, the book says: “The Supreme Court carpet is designed by Sir Peter Blake, whose works include iconic record sleeves [Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Do They Know It’s Christmas?]. It contains national symbols: the thistle for Scotland, the flax flower for Northern Ireland, the Tudor rose for England and the leek for Wales.”

Legal Cheek understands there has been a lot of interest in the quirky book from court visitors, perhaps given its picture-heaviness and readability. But it does end with a sobering message. The final page reads:

Not all bears are lucky enough to occupy a court. If you would like to support bears… please look for a reputable charity which helps us, and avoid products or entertainments which exploit us. Thank you.

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