isobel christmas picture 1As the Supreme Court closed its door on Friday it saw the end to Michaelmas Term.

Looking back on the term, it was full of interesting cases including the appeal of Beghal v DPP heard on 12 November. The appellant in this case had been stopped and searched upon arrival to East Midlands Airport and subsequently questioned by Police Officers from Leicestershire Constabulary after visiting her husband who was being held in French custody in relation to terrorist offences. The Supreme Court had to decide whether the Terrorism Act 2000, Sch 7, engaged the ECHR, arts 5, 6, and 8.

The Court also heard the highly anticipated appeal of R (Evans) v Information Commissioner on 24 November regarding the challenge brought by a Guardian journalist to seek disclosure of written communications between the Prince of Wales and Parliament. The Court was asked to consider whether the decision to exercise the power to overrule the Upper Tribunal’s decision to disclose the information was lawful and/or taken on reasonable grounds. It also had to consider whether s 53(2) was compatible with the Environmental Information Directive 2003/4/EC and the ECHR, art 47.

We also received judgments in some eagerly awaited cases including Moohan & Anor v The Lord Advocate (Scotland) on the issue of prisoner voting following the instant dismissal of the appeal at the end of the hearing in July 2014 to provide an answer before Scottish Referendum took place on the 18 September 2014. The Court dismissed the appeal (5-2) stating that the words of the ECHR, A3P1, on their ordinary meaning refer to an obligation to hold periodic elections to a democratically elected legislature, suggesting that the drafters did not have referendums in mind.

The Judiciary have also been busy this term giving a variety of lectures and seminars. A particular highlight was the seminar held on 4 October to mark the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court. It was a small scale event held to facilitate discussion between judges, practitioners, court staff and academics, held under Chatham House rules. More details of the topics of the seminar can be found here.isobel christmas picture 2

The Court is now closed until Monday 12 January 2015 and so the Blog will be quiet until the New Year; save for the odd ad hoc piece. We would like to wish all of our readers Merry Christmas, and we will be back in 2015.


The pictures featured in this post are from the Treasury Singer’s annual lunchtime carol concert at the Supreme Court, by Isobel Williams. Her blog post on the concert and more illustrations can be found here.