Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom was established in law by Part III of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Lord Chancellor has announced that it will start work in October 2009 once its new premises are ready.

It will take over the Law Lords' judicial functions in the House of Lords and some functions in the Judicial committee of the Privy Council. The Supreme Court will be the final court of appeal in all matters under English law, Welsh law (to the extent that the Welsh Assembly makes laws for Wales that differ from those in England) and Northern Irish law.

It will not have authority over criminal cases in Scotland, where the High Court of Justiciary will remain the Supreme Court. However, it will hear appeals from the Court of Session, just as the House of Lords does today.

It may hear cases of dispute between the three devolved governments - the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government - and the UK government, taking over this function from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The new Supreme Court should not be confused with the Supreme Court of England and Wales, which was created in the 1870s under the Judicature Acts, nor with the Supreme Court of Judicature in Northern Ireland, each of which consists of a Court of Appeal, High Court of Justice and Crown Court. When the provisions of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 come into force, creating the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, the present Supreme Courts will become known as the Senior Courts of England and Wales and the Court of Judicature respectively, to avoid confusion.

The High Court of Justiciary , the Court of Session, and the Office of the Accountant of Court comprise the Supreme Courts of Scotland.

The main role of the UK Supreme Court will be to hear appeals from courts in the United Kingdom's three legal systems: England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. The Court's focus will be on cases which raise points of law of general public importance. Like the current Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, appeals from many fields of law are likely to be selected for hearing - including commercial disputes, family matters, judicial review claims against public authorities and issues under the Human Rights Act 1998. The Court will also hear some criminal appeals but not from Scotland as there will be no right of appeal from the High Court of Justiciary (Scotland's highest criminal court).

The UK Supreme Court will also determine "devolution issues" (as defined by the Scotland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006). These are legal proceedings about the powers of the three devolved administrations – the Northern Ireland Executive and Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, and the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Assembly for Wales. Devolution issues are currently heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council and most are about compliance with rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, brought into national law by the devolution Acts and the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Appellate Committee of the House of Lords will cease to exist after October 2009. The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council will however continue, located within the new Supreme Court building, as it is the final court of appeal for several States in the Commonwealth of Nations and British Overseas Territories.

The Government's plans to create the Supreme Court, announced in June 2003, were controversial and were brought forward with little consultation. During 2004, a select committee of the House of Lords scrutinised the arguments for and against setting up a new court.

The main argument in favour of change was that there should be a separation between the House of Lords' role as a legislature and its role as a court. This, it was claimed, confused people and offended constitutional principles of separation of powers and independence of the judiciary. The main argument against the reforms was that the current arrangements worked well and provided good value for money.

The Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the Law Lords) who hold office when the Supreme Court begins work in October 2009 will be the first justices of the twelve-member Supreme Court. The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 makes provision for a new appointments process for Justices of the Supreme Court. A selection commission will be formed when vacancies arise. This will be composed of the President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court and members of the appointment bodies for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. New judges appointed to the Supreme Court after its creation will not receive peerages nor will they be members of the House of Lords.

Grammar Section

The Passive Voice

1. Change the sentences from the active into the passive. Omit the agent where it can be omitted.

1. The party with the majority support in the Commons forms the government. 2. They must hold general elections at least every five years. 3. Voters have elected 650 Members of Parliament. 4. Government departments carry out policies. 5. Queen Elizabeth II succeeded to the throne in 1952. 6. The monarch summons, prorogues and dissolves Parliament. 7. They have never codified the constitutional principles, rules and practices of the United Kingdom. 8. Personal union of the Crowns linked the independent Kingdoms of England and Scotland in 1603. 9. The Northern Ireland Constitutional Act, 1973 established a new constitutional framework. 10. The British Isles don’t comprise the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 11. The Prime-Minister consults and advises the Monarch on government business. 12. The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain presides over the House of Lords.



2. Fill in ‘by’ or ‘with’.

1. The earliest known legal text was drawn up …. Ur-Mammu. 2. The cyclist was knocked …. a bus. 3. Soup is eaten … a spoon. 4. Who was the radio invented … ? 5. The car was fixed … a mechanic. 6. The glass was cut …. a special tool. 7. Her hair is coloured … henna … a hairdresser. 8. ‘Born in the USA’ was sung …. Springsteen. 9. The roast was flavoured … wine. 10. This decision will be made … the local council. 11. He was knocked …. the stone. It was an accident. 12. He was knocked …. the stone. It was a murder.

3. Choose the correct answer.

A large amount of valuable jewellery 1) has stolen / has been stolen from Forest Manor. A man 2) arrested / was arrested yesterday and 3) is questioned / is being questioned by the police at the moment. He 4) thought / is thought to 5) have committed / have been committed the crime, although so far no proof 6)has found / has been found. The robbery 7) believed / is believed to 8)to have been carried out / to have carried out by two men, but so far no clue 9) has discovered / has been discovered as to the second man’s identity. The police say that he may 10) have left / have been left the country.

4. Change into the passive.

A) The police are investigating a series of break-ins in the Hatterby area. Residents have heard noises but nobody has actually seen anything suspicious. The recent rise in crime in the neighbourhood has shocked residents. Locals are discussing matters of security with the police and they have requested greater police presence in the area.

B) A wealthy businessman has just bought the Black Swan Hotel. The Barrett family owned it for many years, and they should have restored the building many years ago, but they couldn’t find enough money. The new owner is closing the hotel for a few months for redecoration. At the moment workmen are polishing the floors and redecorating all the rooms.

5. Rewrite the sentences in the passive, where possible.

A) 1. Her husband drives her to work every day . _________________________________ . 2.Someone will steal your purse if you don’t look after it. _________________________________. 3. I woke up late on Sunday morning. ____________________________________. 4. Her mother woke her up at seven o’clock. ______________________________. 5. Sue asked the waiter to bring some mineral water. ____________________________________________. 6. David asked for some help. ____________________________________________. 7. Simon is moving house next month. __________________________________. 8. Michael moved the boxes out of the way. _______________________________________________. 9. Sandra walks on the beach regularly. _____________________________________________. 10. The boys walk the dog every day. _________________________________

B) Omit the agent where possible.

1. 1. Do they sell clothes in this shop? ________________________________. 2. Someone is cleaning our classroom. ________________________________. 3. She tapped him on the hand with her pen ._______________________________________. 4. People spend a lot of money on books. ______________________________________________________. 5. Is Sue preparing a report? _____________________________________________________. 6. Who made this mess? ___________________________________________7. Grandfather is going to tell the children a story. __________________________________. 8. They will open the new advisory office soon . ____________________. 9. They made him confess to the robbery. ______________________________

10. Who broke this mug? _________________________________. 11. The teacher will mark the essays. ____________________________________________. 12. They heard him call for help. ____________________________________

6. Correct any verb forms which are impossible or inappropriate.

1. A lot of homes in the area have been being broken into by burglars. 2. As I drove south, I could see that the old road was rebuilding. 3. I suppose the letter will have been delivered by now. 4. There is nothing more annoying than been interrupted when you are speaking. 5. Jim was been given a sack from his new job. 6. Somehow without my noticing my wallet had been disappeared.

7. Both sentences in each pair have the same meaning. Complete the second sentence.

1. The crowd was slowly filling the huge stadium. The huge stadium ……………………….. by the crowd. 2. The inventor of the computer simplified the work of the accountants. Since the computer …………………. the work of the accountants ………… simplified. 3. Someone has suggested that the shop should close. It ……………… that the shop should close. 4. ‘I’d take out some travel insurance if I were you, Mr. Smith.’ Mr. Smith …………………..take out some travel insurance. 5. The waitress will bring you drinks in a moment. Your drinks …………………. in a moment. 6. Someone used a knife to open the window. This window ………….. a knife. 7. You will hear from us when we have finished dealing with your complaint. After your complaint ……………….. , you will hear from us. 8. An announcement of their engagement appeared in the local paper. Their engagement …………………… in the local paper. 9. Nobody ever heard anything of David again. Nothing ……………….. David again. 10. They paid Sheila $1,000 as a special bonus. $1,000 ……………… Sheila as a special bonus.

9. Translate into English.

1. Робота щойно закінчена. 2. Доповідь слухали дуже уважно. 3. Його ніде не бачили вчора. 4. Я думаю, що всі інструкції отримаємо завтра. 5. На цій вулиці будується нова лінія метро. 6. Коли була написана ця стаття? 7. Про цю справу багато говорять. 8. Їй порадили написати доповідь на англійській. 9. Мене про це ніколи не питали. 9. Коли стаття буде написана, її надрукують в журналі. 10. Коли обговорювалася це питання? 11. Його вчора запросили прийняти участь в науковій конференції. 12. Це дослідження було зроблено до того, як були зроблені нові знахідки в цій галузі. 13. Коли я зацікався цією темою, ці законопроекти розглядалися у Верховній Раді. 14. Відповідь буде відправлена, як тільки питання буде вирішено. 15. Коли я зайшов у зал засідань, допитували обвинуваченого.16. Ким була написана ця робота? 17. Мені дали цей підручник на три дні. 18. Рабство в США було скасовано після того, як була прийнята Конституція.

UNIT FIVE

Part 1









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