The Constitution Unit


Supreme or Constitutional Court: what do the top courts do?

October 1999 - May 2001

Principal Investigators: Richard Cornes, Andrew le Sueur


The main objective of this project is to examine whether the UK's two top level national courts - the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council - are in need of reform. The project looked at:

  • the functions performed by the highest level appeal courts in the UK
  • alternative structures for the apex of the UK's legal systems
  • models for legal procedures, and administration in top level courts
  • the roles of top level courts in establishing new constitutional settlements
  • the political dynamics of debates about reform in the UK
  • how reform proposals might be implemented
  • lessons which might be learnt from some other legal systems