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The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2015–2016

annual-report-2015-16

13 Section one Overview:

13 Section one Overview: objectives and governance Our governance Like any public organisation, the administration of the UKSC and the JCPC has in place structures and safeguards to ensure proper accountability and clear lines of responsibility. The administration of the UKSC is classified as a non-ministerial Department, established by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 (CRA). The Court is supported by a Chief Executive, currently Mark Ormerod, following the retirement of Jenny Rowe in October 2015. The Chief Executive holds a statutory office created by s48 of the CRA; and he must carry out his functions in accordance with any directions given to him by the President of the Court, to whom he reports, although he may not act inconsistently with the standards of behaviour required of a civil servant, or with his responsibilities as Accounting Officer. The President of the Court may appoint officers and staff of the Court, but under s48(3) of the CRA the President of the Court may delegate to the Chief Executive this function and all other non-judicial functions of the Court; and the President, Lord Neuberger, has so delegated them. The Chief Executive, officers and staff of the Court are all civil servants. Their pay, terms and conditions must be determined as such, although, subject to that constraint, the CRA (as amended by the Crime and Courts Act 2013) provides that the Chief Executive may determine the number of officers and staff of the Court and the terms on which they are appointed. Under the CRA the Lord Chancellor must ensure the Court is provided with such accommodation and other resources as he thinks are appropriate for the Court to carry on its business. The Chief Executive is placed under a parallel statutory duty to ensure that the Court’s resources are used to provide an efficient and effective system to support its business. This is why the administration of the Court is classified as a non-ministerial Department. It is not part of the Ministry of Justice and does not report to the Lord Chancellor. The Justices regard maintaining tangible independence from both the Legislature and the Executive as a key constitutional objective. This is particularly important because the Government is in practice a party in slightly more than half the cases in which an application is made or a hearing takes place before the Court. The Chief Executive is therefore also an Accounting Officer in his own right, accountable directly to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee. In the interests of clarity, in January 2014 a formal concordat was concluded between the Court and the Ministry of Justice which identifies the respective responsibilities of the Lord Chancellor and the Court’s President and its Chief Executive. Copies were sent to the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland and deposited in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament. The Chief Executive has two immediate deputies, the Director of Corporate Services (William Arnold), responsible for the institutional and organisational side of the Court; and the Registrar (Louise di Mambro), who exercises administrative and judicial functions under the Rules, and is responsible for the progress of cases and the Court’s business. Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

14 Section one Overview: objectives and governance Corporate Services cover broadly: • accommodation and health & safety • finance • human resources • communications, publicity and educational outreach; and • records, IT and library services. More details of key developments in these business functions over the year can be found in Section Five. The Registry functions cover: • the management of applications for permission to appeal • the listing and actual hearing of appeals • the issuing of court judgments and orders, and • the resolution of disputed costs issues. The Strategic Advisory Board (SAB) comprises the President, the Deputy President, one other Justice appointed by the President, the Chief Executive, the Director of Corporate Services, theRegistrar and the UKSC’s two Non-Executive Directors. Its remit is to consider the strategic direction of the Court and to approve and review the UKSC’s Strategic Framework. This board has no direct role in managing either the judicial or non-judicial functions of the Court. The SAB had its first meeting on 15 February 2016, when it approved the UKSC’s Strategic Framework for the four year period (2016 – 2020) covered by the 2015 Spending Review settlement. More details can be found in the Governance Statement in Section Six. The Registrar has management responsibility for the Justices’ personal support staff – their legally qualified Judicial Assistants and personal secretaries. Who’s who: Membership of Management Board and Committees To support the Chief Executive in both his statutory responsibilities and his responsibilities as an Accounting Officer, an internal governance structure was established in 2009. This now comprises a Management Board, a Strategic Advisory Board (added in February 2016), an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, a Remuneration Committee and a Health and Safety Committee. The Management Board. Back row (left to right): Martin Thompson, Ben Wilson, Olufemi Oguntunde, Paul Brigland, Chris Maile Front row (left to right): Kenneth Ludlam, William Arnold, Mark Ormerod, Louise di Mambro, Stephen Barrett Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

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