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At just one year old, the Supreme Court is facing potentially massive cuts – so can it still justify its role as public educator? Lord Phillips explains to Jean-Yves Gilg why it should

19 October 2010

Lawyers were stunned to see the Supreme Court on the list of quangos possibly heading for the guillotine a fortnight ago. Nobody really believed the justices would soon be packing their wigs and crossing Parliament Square back to the House of Lords, but it was a relief to hear last week that the court had survived the cull.

Why the Supreme Court – which is hardly a quango and was only established just over a year ago – appeared on the list in the first place is not clear, but it highlights two things. First, that the new court is financially accountable in a way the law lords weren’t, and, second, that the move to the refurbished Middlesex Guildhall can still come across as a project promoted by politicians seeking to secure their place in history.

Unlike the law lords who lived in the sheltered cocoon of parliament, the justices now fall within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and come in for closer scrutiny.

Lord Phillips accepts that...

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