- What hours is the JCPC open?
- How do I get to the JCPC?
- Can I go and sit in a court or walk around the building?
- Where can I buy refreshments?
- Is there anywhere to leave my belongings?
- Have you got baby changing facilities at the JCPC?
- What visual impairment facilities are there at the JCPC?
- What wheelchair accessibility is there at the JCPC?
- Does the JCPC use a hearing loop?
- Do you offer guided tours?
- Do you offer free tours for schools?
- How possible is it to meet a Justice in person?
- Can I book an event at the JCPC?
- Is Wifi available at the JCPC?
- Can I appeal to the JCPC?
- What hours is the JCPC Registry open?
- To whom should cheques for Court fees be made payable?
- How long do things take once I have handed in my form and document?
- How do I get passes for my legal team?
- Are there facilities available for me to hold private discussions with my Legal team?
- How do I find the meeting room I need on arrival?
- Are Video Conferencing facilities available at the JCPC?
- How can I find out when a case is due to be heard?
- If cameras are in the courts why don't you show cases live on your website, or make the footage available to everyone?
- Can I apply to come on work experience at the JCPC?
- Can I apply to 'marshal' a Justice?
The role of the JCPC
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has both a Commonwealth and a domestic jurisdiction.
In its Commonwealth jurisdiction, which is by far the largest part of its work, the Judicial Committee hears appeals from those independent Commonwealth countries which have retained the appeal to Her Majesty in Council or, in the case of Republics, to the Judicial Committee itself; it also hears appeals from the United Kingdom overseas territories and Crown dependencies. By agreement with the Sultan of Brunei, the Committee can hear appeals from the Brunei Court of Appeal, but in civil matters only, and gives its advice to the Sultan.
In its domestic jurisdiction the Board hears appeals to Her Majesty in Council:
- from the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons;
- against certain Schemes of the Church Commissioners under the Pastoral Measure 1983.
The Board also has the following rarely used jurisdictions:
- Appeals from the Arches Court of Canterbury and the Chancery Court of York in non-doctrinal faculty causes.
- Appeals from Prize Courts.
- Disputes under the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975.
- Appeals from the Court of Admiralty of the Cinque Ports.
Why was it called the "Middlesex Guildhall"?
The 1913 building which is home to the JCPC was built as the headquarters for Middlesex County Council and Quarter Sessions. In 1965, the council was abolished (through the formation of the Greater London Council) and the building became a Crown Court.
What hours is the JCPC open?
The Supreme Court building is open to the public from 9.30am to 4.30pm (last entry) Monday to Friday. Legal teams may enter from 8.30 am on court sitting days. It is closed on weekends except for special occasions such as Open House weekend, which are advertised on the front page of this website.
How do I get to the JCPC?
View our How to find us section for details of our location and travel information.
Can I go and sit in a court or walk around the building?
Yes, you can. During term time courts normally sit Monday to Thursday; from 11am on Mondays, and from 10.30am Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays until 4pm. (There is a break at lunchtime from 1pm-2pm.) During the court sessions the public are more than welcome to sit in court in the public gallery, provided they turn their mobile phones off. If you do not wish to watch a hearing or there are none occurring during your visit then you are able to walk around the building and see the court rooms not currently in use as well as our educational exhibition situated on the lower ground floor.
Where can I buy refreshments?
The Supreme Court building has a café on the lower ground floor serving hot and cold food as well as a range of coffees, tea and other soft drinks.
Is there anywhere to leave my belongings?
No, due to space and security issues we do not have anywhere to store visitors' belongings.
Have you got baby changing facilities at the JCPC?
Yes. On the lower ground floor there is a disabled toilet which also has baby changing facilities.
What visual impairment facilities are there at the JCPC?
The Supreme Court has braille notices on the toilet doors; the JCPC website has also met required standards for text size and undergone independent auditing to ensure use of good practice in web accessibility. We can also provide large print and braille versions of our key visitor leaflets for use during your visit.
What wheelchair accessibility is there at the JCPC?
The Supreme Court building is wheelchair accessible throughout the whole building.
Does the JCPC use a hearing loop?
Yes it does. To make use of this you should turn your hearing aid to ‘T’ on entry.
Do you offer guided tours?
Yes. For a small charge, visitors can join a guided tour which are scheduled to take place on days when the court is not sitting. You can book anywhere between one and 25 places, if there are spaces available. For more information and details of how to book, please see the Guided tours section of this website.
Do you offer free tours for schools?
Yes, we do. Groups must be no more than 25 and a tour should be booked at least 4 weeks in advance. Please see the School & college tours section of the website for more information on the educational work of the Court and a booking form.
How possible is it to meet a Justice in person?
As you will appreciate, the Justices spend the bulk of their time in the building sitting in court, preparing for cases and writing judgments, so they are rarely available to address visiting groups.
Can I book an event at the JCPC?
Yes, there are two rooms for hire in the Court for corporate events in the evening or during recess. The maximum number of guests we can accommodate for a sit down dinner is 60, or 100 for a drinks reception. To make your enquiry please email our Events Manager or for more information see the Venue Hire section of this website.
Is Wifi available at the JCPC?
BT OpenZone has good coverage throughout the building, including the courtrooms. However, in common with other Government buildings and courts, this is not provided free of charge, and you need to set up an account with BT in advance in order to access this service. Alternatively, you can 'pay as you go' by credit or debit card, by connecting to the BT OpenZone network with the strongest signal, and then following the on-screen instructions via your browser.
Can I appeal to the JCPC?
The Jurisdiction of the JCPC can be found in Practice Direction 1.
What hours is the Registry open?
The Registry is open from 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on Mondays to Thursdays during the law terms and from 10 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Fridays and outside the law terms. During August the Registry is open from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m.
The Registry is open on every day of the year except:
- Saturdays and Sundays,
- the Thursday before Good Friday, Good Friday and the day after Easter Monday,
- during the Christmas vacation (a two week period over Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, published on this website in December),
- Bank Holidays in England and Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971, and
- such other days as the Registrar, with the agreement of the President and the Chief Executive, may direct.
To whom should cheques for Court fees be made payable?
Details of fees payable can be found via the Fees and costs page of this website. Cheques should be made payable to “The Judicial Committee Fees Account”.
How long do things take once I have handed in my form and documents?
Applications for permission to appeal take approximately 8 sitting weeks to be determined. Parties will be informed by letter and/or email.
How do I get passes for my legal team?
How do I book lunch for my legal team?
See the Hospitality Services section of the site for details.
Are there facilities available for me to hold private discussions with my Legal team?
You can book a room for you to use throughout the day (generally limited to 0900-1700) by stipulating this requirement on Court Form 4, which must be returned at least 24 hours before your appeal is due to be heard. We cannot guarantee meeting rooms will be available for every party on busy sitting days.
How do I find the meeting room I need on arrival?
Speak to colleagues on our Reception desk (staffed from 0900) who will be happy to help. Professional users should also report to the desk to sign in upon arrival, for safety and security purposes.
Are Video Conferencing facilities available at the JCPC?
While such facilities exist on-site, availability is not guaranteed. You should stipulate that you would like access to such facilities, when completing Court Form 4, and we will inform you of availability.
How can I find out when a case is due to be heard?
Visit the Court Sittings section of the site for times of forthcoming cases.
If cameras are in the courts why don't you show cases live on your website, or make the footage available to everyone?
We do not have the capacity to show our cases live on the website. Our policy is that we only make our recordings available to mainstream broadcasters and educational establishments, because all our footage is recorded digitally in a broadcast-quality format. It is extremely resource-intensive for us to convert our footage to domestic level DVDs or other output formats. Administering and fulfilling such requests is not possible within the Court’s current resources.
Can I apply to come on work experience at the JCPC?
No. We do not have the staff resources to support students wishing to spend time here on work experience, and the nature of our work makes it difficult for us to permit non-staff to have access to our office systems. To be fair to everyone, we can therefore not assist with any such requests. However, students are always welcome to visit the Court to sit in on cases and look round our exhibition area. If you are interested in a career in law you are advised to try a local Crown, County or Magistrate's Court, information on which can be found on Her Majesty’s Courts Service website. Alternatively, the Bar Council may be able to put you in touch with a specific Barrister's chambers.
Can I apply to 'marshal' a Justice?
No. The Supreme Court's judicial support arrangements mean we are unable to offer such opportunities. If you are interested in marshalling you are advised to contact your local Crown Court and ask if any Circuit Judges are taking on a marshal or, if you are affiliated to one of the Inns of Court, you should approach a judge through them. It's worth noting that applicants are usually expected to have completed either the Legal Practice Course or the Bar Vocational Course before they apply for marshalling.