New online course offers ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Supreme Court

Avatar photo

By Aishah Hussain on

Programme run in collaboration with Royal Holloway Uni

The Supreme Court is offering the public the opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and gain an understanding of the inner workings of the country’s highest court for free.

The Supreme Court today launched ‘Inside the UK Supreme Court: Its Role, Its Work, and Cases that Affect Us All’, its first ever online course in collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London.

Over the two weeks of the course participants will learn from RHU academics, court staff and current and former Justices, about the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), and their role within society.

The course requires four hours of weekly study and covers the role, history and function of the Supreme Court; its international position, including a comparison with the US Supreme Court; and its landmark rulings. It has been developed by social learning platform FutureLearn.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Chambers Most List

Once participants have an understanding of how the top court is structured and operates, they’ll explore six landmark rulings, such as 2018 human rights case Lee v Ashers Bakery and the more recent Uber BV v Aslam case and its implications for employment law. After they’ve heard the background to each case and a selection of the arguments made in court, they can step into the shoes of a Justice and vote on what they would rule before discovering the outcome of the case.

Some familiar faces make an appearance on the course, including former Supreme Court president Lady Hale and current president Lord Reed.

Lord Reed said: “We are delighted to partner up with Royal Holloway, to deliver our first ever free online course to provide individuals with the opportunity to learn more about the role and position of the Supreme Court within the UK and across the Commonwealth.”

“It’s a great way of sharing behind the scenes insight into how we deliver cases, and to take a deep dive into some recent judgments,” he continued. “We hope that people from across the UK and internationally will sign-up to the course, and that they find it interesting, engaging and enjoyable to complete.”

Registration for the course opens today and it will begin on Monday 21 February. Participants of all ages and backgrounds are invited to complete it in their own time, within the two-week window.

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter