Further to Dan Tench’s post last week in which he commented upon Joshua Rozenberg’s recent reflections on the UK Supreme Court, Afua Hirsch has published an article in which she too looks at the role of the UKSC six months following its creation.

Ms Hirsch compares the UKSC to its American counterpart and comments on the lack of general interest the British have in their highest court (or its Justices), saying that the UKSC “is less newsworthy because it is less political. It cannot strike down pieces of legislation, and its members are not appointed by the executive. There are other reasons too – the fact that the UK’s justices each deliver their own individual opinion, rather than offering a US-style majority view, for example, makes its verdicts harder to interpret, and complicates matters for lawyers, let alone the general public“.   She finishes by saying “if the verdict, after six months of our new supreme court, is that it continues to attract attention for its cases but not for its human faces, one question remains. Was the money and hype worth it, simply for a change of building?

This, like Mr Rozenberg’s musings, may be a little unfair.  There has been interest in the make up of the Justices (even if this has taken the form of criticism for the lack of diversity amongst our top judges) and, afterall, change does take time.   After centuries of the House of Lords being the highest court of the land it may be a little premature to suggest that the only change that has been brought about by the creation of the UKSC is a change of building only six months after its doors were first opened.

And, one has to ask, since when has the American Supreme Court been the benchmark the UKSC has to follow? Perhaps this can be summed up by one reader’s comment which says “Who gives a toss at what people think the USA Supreme Court does? I don’t, and if you cared to ask, you will find that at least 99% of the British public don’t“.