The UK Supreme Court, according to its website:
- is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance.
- concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance.
- maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common law world.
It granted permission to appeal to half the family applications they received in the year 2014.
According to their newly published annual report, they received eight appeal applications during that time.
The Supreme Court tries to hear all appeals within nine months but will leave gaps in its schedule for appeals considered to be ‘urgent’.
Two of the eight family cases heard by the Court during this time were considered “urgent” cases.
In those cases, a Spanish mother sought the return of her children from their English father, which was allowed, and a mother with a troubled history appealed against a care order in relation to her three year old child, which was dismissed.
The report covered a range of other issues, one of which was people who are representing themselves in court.
Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, said:
“This year has seen a number of changes to the legal system throughout the United Kingdom … we are already noticing a small increase in the number of litigants in person submitting applications for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.”