The Financial and Administrative Independence of the UK Supreme Court: Five Years On
This article considers the financial and administrative independence of the UK Supreme Court during its first five years. Taking inspiration from Alan Paterson's book Final Judgment: The Last Law Lords and the Supreme Court, where he characterizes appellate decision-making in a top court such as the Supreme Court as a collective social process, the article begins by identifying, in general terms, some of the collective and social dimensions to judicial independence. The article explains how one counterintuitive consequence of insisting on a more formal vision of the separation of powers in the UK in recent years has been to require the Supreme Court to interact with other actors about administrative and financial matters, which in turn brings into better perspective the continuing (and arguably heightened) importance of the collective and social dimensions to the relationships between the Court, the Ministry of Justice and a range of other actors. Ultimately, the article suggests that the financial and administrative independence of the Supreme Court should be viewed as a collective social process, where informal factors can both help and hinder the promotion of stable relations between the top court and a range of actors.