12 Lords a Leaping

By | 18 December 2012

Welcome to the final day of our 12 (legal) Days of Christmas.

What else could 12 Lords a Leaping be other than a post about the 12 Lords (well technically 11 Lords and 1 Lady) Leaping around the Supreme Court …

Supreme Court of the UK

In October 2009 the highest UK court changed from being the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords (or just House of Lords to most) to the Supreme Court of the UK.   Cases are heard in the Supreme Court on appeal from the Court of Appeal in England and Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland, and Court of Appeal for Northern Ireland in civil cases and the Court of Appeal in England & Wales and  Northern Ireland for criminal cases.

If you are interested in the history of the House of Lords there is a brief summary on the Supreme Court website.  There are also a number of books available in the Law Bod such as Blom-Cooper et al, ‘The judicial House of Lords : 1876-2009’ or James,  From House of Lords to Supreme Court : judges, jurists and the process of judging.

Supreme Court website

Where do I find judgments?

Appeal casesAs with House of Lords all cases heard in the Supreme Court are of legal importance and so are published as law reports.  The most authoritative of these being the ICLR reports.  You can find Supreme Court decisions reported in the Appeal Cases series of the ICLR reports and these can be found on Westlaw and Lexis Library (both subscription databases available to OU members via Oxlip+) as well as in hard copy.  The cases are also reported in the All England Reports, a commercial series available on Lexis Library only (or in hard copy) and usually many other series of law reports.

You will also find the judgments themselves for free on the Supreme Court website and Bailii.org  and there are links through to the older House of Lords judgments from these sites as well.   You can recognize cases from the Supreme Court by the neutral citation – UKSC and so a case should have the party names/ [year]/ UKSC/ case number.

What about pending cases?

You can find information on cases to be heard on the Supreme Court website via the Current Cases page.  This list cases that are waiting on appeal but they only put the cases up a few weeks before.   Full lists can be seen on a monthly Permission to Appeal page.

However did you know that  you can also see where cases have outstanding appeals on Westlaw?   Their Appeal Status Tracker does not just cover cases on appeal to the Supreme Court but also cases on appeal to the Court of Appeal (Civil Division).  It is useful way of knowing that there will be future developments in any case-law you are researching.

When you are searching for a case you will see a yellow symbol with the letter ‘A’ this means that there is an appeal outstanding.  By going into the Case Analysis you can see where the appeal is under the Appellate Status and History link.


The Supreme Court also has RSS feeds that allow you to follow the latest cases and news and there are also update services available on a number of databases.  If you want more information you can visit our Libguide or contact us katharine.jackson@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.

Wanting to see the Supreme Court in action?

The Supreme Court became the first (and is still the only) court in the UK to broadcast cases live over an internet stream to an exhibition room in the court building.  The proceedings are also streamed on the Sky News website.   More information can be found on their visitor pages.

Want to ‘follow’ the Supreme Court?

Supreme Court TwitterThe Supreme Court also became the first court to allow the use of Twitter but it has also got a Twitter account which it uses to Tweet updates about the latest judgments and other Supreme Court news.  You can follow it @UKSupremecourt  and see their Twitter policy on their website.

For more information about current awareness, including the use of social media, then take a look at our Libguide.

So that’s it, thank you for all the comments and suggestions for next year and for those that have missed the whole series here are the days in full:

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me

collage12 Lords a Leaping

11 Pipers Piping

10 Drummers Drumming

9 Ladies Dancing

8 Maids a Milking

7 Swans a Swimming

6 Geese a Laying

5 Gold Rings

4 Calling Birds

3 French Hens

2 Turtles Doves

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Have a good holiday we will see you again the in the New Year.


One thought on “12 Lords a Leaping

  1. Pingback: Youtube channel for UK Supreme Court « Law Bod Blog

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