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The Supreme Court Annual Report and Accounts 2015–2016

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7 Handling appeals as the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council continues to represent about one third of the Justices’ workload: it is an enriching privilege to serve in this capacity, hearing cases from a range of smaller jurisdictions outside the UK. Debates continue in some of the jurisdictions that send cases to the Judicial Committee about whether it is still appropriate to do so. In particular islands in the Caribbean now have the option of taking their final appeals to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Our attitude in these debates is one of studied neutrality. It is an honour to serve the people of those jurisdictions by providing a final court of appeal but whether a country chooses to leave the JCPC is entirely that country’s decision, and we respect any such decision. I should like to end by thanking my colleagues for all their hard work and support during this year, the staff of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council for their hard work and support, as well as the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, the Lord President and the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland for their continued support including, on occasion, sitting, and releasing judges to sit, with us here in Parliament Square. Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

8 Introduction BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE MARK ORMEROD I am pleased to present my first Annual Report, prepared to meet the obligation placed upon the holder of my office by section 54 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. I am delighted to have been appointed Chief Executive of the Supreme Court and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, following an external recruitment competition. I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor, Jenny Rowe, for her dedication and hard work as Chief Executive from the inception of the Supreme Court through to her retirement last summer. She has left the Court in excellent shape and it is a daunting as well as exciting privilege to follow her. I have been very struck by the warmth of welcome from the Justices and staff of the Court together with those with whom the Court has dealings. It is clear to me that the Court has established itself as a high performing, increasingly efficient and innovative court and it is my strong intention to continue to assist in supporting the Justices in maintaining the prestige and the smooth running of the most senior Court in the United Kingdom and the important work of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. I am acutely conscious of the fact that the Supreme Court is a court of the United Kingdom. I shall be taking time to visit other parts of the United Kingdom and have already been to Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff for a variety of meetings and conferences. These will continue on a regular basis. As the Court matures from its early inception, I considered it important that there should be a body within the Court which brings together senior members of the Court, of the staff and the Management Board's Non-Executive Directors. This Strategic Advisory Board has now been established and will be taking a longer term view of the way in which the Court can develop in order to ensure that its reputation is maintained and enhanced and that it continues to be a forward looking and innovative Court in terms of the service that it provides to the public. After seven months in post, I very much look forward to dealing with the challenges ahead, not simply those presented by a tighter financial settlement, but also the increasing demands of users and the large numbers of members of the public who visit the court building. To those who have not yet seen the Court in action, I would commend to them the live-streaming that is undertaken and shown on the website – the only Court in the United Kingdom that provides this service. Better still I would encourage them to visit the building in person. It really is a relatively unknown jewel in terms of art, architecture and visitor reception. It is a pleasure to work here and I know that so many of those who do visit come away much heartened by what they have seen. Supreme Court Annual Report 2015–2016

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