UK Supreme Court's 2022-23 Annual Report and Accounts Published
10 November 2023
The Annual Report and Accounts for the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) for the year 2022-23 have been published.
The report highlights the activity undertaken throughout the year across both the UKSC and JCPC. In his foreword, Lord Reed of Allermuir, President of the Supreme Court highlights how the Court has delivered an increased number of judgments across the Supreme Court and the JCPC and made changes to our processes to increase efficiency and provide an improved service to our court users.
Lord Reed also highlighted the very high levels of international confidence in the UK Judiciary, which is reflected in the volume of international disputes that the Court dealt with over the year. He mentions the significant interest in the Court from overseas - with some countries wishing to learn from the UK and others wishing to strengthen relations. The work undertaken by the Court helps to enhance the reputation of the UK as a global legal centre.
Lord Reed welcomed Lord Richards as a newly appointed Justice, and welcomed back Lord Lloyd-Jones. Lord Lloyd-Jones was reappointed after having to retire shortly before the mandatory retirement age for judicial office holders was raised from 70 to 75 in March 2022. Lord Richards replaced Lady Arden, who retired during the last financial year after a long and distinguished judicial career. The Court's Chief Executive Officer, Vicky Fox, uses her introduction to reflect on a year of strong progress where we focussed on four strategic priorities:
- Recovery and readiness for change
- Diversity, inclusion and belonging
- Being world class
- Serving the public
Vicky references the two occasions where the Court sat outside of London. The JCPC sat in the Cayman Islands at the request of the government there, and the Supreme Court sat in Manchester. The visits were very successful as in addition to the hearings, the Court was able to provide education programmes for students and meet with the local judiciary and elected representatives.
Vicky also writes about the wider education programme at the Court which covers a range of initiatives to raise awareness among students. Last year we welcomed 280 school and university groups to the Court, totalling over 5,000 students.
She highlights that our Change Programme is at the forefront of our work. In this first year, we have been successful in our bid for funding from HM Treasury and have laid strong foundations for the next two years of delivery and implementation. This work will enable us to provide a modern and excellent service to Court users and visitors which is both customer-focused and digital.
Vicky also points to our work on diversity, inclusion and belonging which remain central to the way we work and engage outwards. We continue to work with representative organisations within the legal profession to better understand and help remove the barriers that people face in joining and progressing their legal careers.
Supreme Court and JCPC judgments
The Annual Report outlines the volume of casework activity through the year and shows that we have dealt successfully with permission to appeal applications (PTAs), hearings and judgments, and have improved our efficiency in the processing of PTAs. We have delivered 38 UKSC judgments and 60 JCPC judgments. We have dealt efficiently with cases of particular public interest, for example, prioritising the Scottish referendum reference because of the constitutional importance of the case, and delivering a judgment within six weeks of the hearing.
Engaging with the Court
A key theme in the Annual Report is the increased volume of engagement work both domestically and internationally. The Court welcomed over 52,000 in-person visitors, the websites were viewed 1.6 million times and over 470,000 people watched UKSC or JCPC cases online, either live or on demand. The UKSC also sat in Manchester this year - the first time it has sat outside of a capital of the four home nations. In Manchester, we undertook extensive engagement with local lawyers, students and elected representatives and 250 people came to watch the Court proceedings.
The Justices engaged with 35 countries over the year - in either inward or outward meetings - signalling the strength of the UK's legal and Judicial work on the international stage.
In financial terms, the Court's net operating expenditure decreased to £5,029k (from £6,218k in 2021-22). The Accounts show that the UKSC and JCPC incurred total expenditure of £13,116k during 2022-23 (£7,408k of which was judicial and staff costs) and recouped £8,087k in Court fees, contributions from the UK court services and other income. The Statement of Comprehensive Net Expenditure represents the net total resources consumed during the year. The results for the year are set out in the Statement.
The Annual Report also sets out how the Court met its commitments in areas including international relations, sustainability and information assurance.
The Annual Report was presented to Parliament under Section 54(1) of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. The Accounts were presented to the House of Commons under Section 6(4) of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 and were presented to the House of Lords by Command of His Majesty.
Notes to editors
The full Report and Accounts can be downloaded at: Annual Report 2022-2023
The strategic priorities for 2023-2026 can be found at: UKSC and JCPC Business plan 2021-22 (supremecourt.uk)
The Judicial Diversity and Inclusion Strategy can be found here: Judicial Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2021-2025