UK Supreme Court celebrates ‘turning 10’ in style

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The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom celebrates its tenth anniversary this October.

To mark the occasion, it is holding a free Open Day this Wednesday (16 October 2019) from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

This is a unique opportunity for the public to learn what goes on behind the scenes of the Grade II* listed building in Parliament Square, Westminster, finding out how the Justices make their decisions, and see how it has evolved as an institution over the last decade.

Visitors will be able to explore the three beautiful courtrooms and rarely-seen parts of the building such as the magnificent library, which is not normally open to the public. As this is a special occasion, there will also be a host of free additional activities on offer too including:

  • A free talk by celebrated photographer, Paul Stuart. Paul was recently commissioned by the Supreme Court Arts Trust to photograph the three Presidents of the Supreme Court.
    During the talk he will give an insight into his work and how he went about photographing the UK’s most senior judges and other famous figures.
    This event is free but must be pre-booked via Eventbrite.
  • A talk by Elsie Owusu OBE – one of the architects who, in 2009, helped transform the former Middlesex Guildhall into a home for the UK’s new highest court. She will shed light on how the Court’s home was created.
    This event is free but must be pre-booked via Eventbrite.
  • The launch of ‘Legal Landmarks’, a series of films about ten landmark cases that have been heard by the former appellate committee in the House of Lords and more recently in the UK Supreme Court.
    With cases dating back as far as 1604, the film explores the impact that these decisions have had on the lives of ordinary people.
    The film has been produced by Royal Holloway, University of London, as part of its National Lottery Heritage Fund Citizens Project’ and has been kindly gifted to the Supreme Court.
  • The Chief Executive of the Supreme Court, Mark Ormerod, will lead a talk about the Court. He and other members of staff will not able to discuss specific judgments but will be on-hand throughout the day to answer questions about the work of the court.
  • The Supreme Court has also invited several local secondary schools. The students will take part in a live ‘Ask a Justice’ session with a Supreme Court Justice and attend a workshop about the Court’s work, led by a university professor from Royal Holloway University. These are private events for the designated schools.
  • The President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale (right), will be reading the soon-to-be published children’s book ‘Equal to Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court’ to children from a local primary school. This will be a private event, but the school’s choir will then perform for visitors in the library – all are welcome to come and watch.
  • How much do you know about the work of the UK’s highest court? Test your knowledge in our ‘Supreme Court at Ten’ commemorative quiz.
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