The new UK Supreme Court (‘USC’) will open its doors at the start of the legal year on 1 October 2009.
The USC will replace the House of Lords as the final Court of Appeal for England and Wales, though the Privy Council retains its jurisdiction as the final court of appeal for the countries of the Commonwealth.
There will be important implications for the separation of powers in that the USC will not be a part of the Houses of Parliament, but rather will be in a completely different building altogether.
The functions of the new USC is to hear the following, inter alia:
(1) Appeals from Northern Ireland, England and Wales. (Civil).
(2) Appeals from Northern Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland (Criminal).
(3) Appeals of arguable points of law of public importance.