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Inside the UK Supreme Court: Its Role, Its Work, and Cases that Affect Us All

Royal Holloway, University of London via FutureLearn


Delve into the UK Supreme Court and its inner workings

If you’d like to learn more about the UK Supreme Court, what it does, and what it’s like to work there, then this Royal Holloway course, produced in collaboration with the Supreme Court, is for you.

Over the two weeks of the course, you’ll get to explore the current workings and history of the UK Supreme Court and wider aspects of the law. You’ll also get to take a closer look at routes into the legal profession.

Whether you want to practice law or just understand it as a citizen, you’ll gain a fascinating insight into this key institution’s legal role.

Compare Courts from across the globe

This course starts with an introduction to the functions and history of the UK Supreme Court, before moving onto the role of its Justices as members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

You will also discover how the UK Supreme Court works in relation to the European Court of Human Rights and how it compares to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Step into the shoes of a Justice

After you’ve got a clearer idea of how the UK Supreme Court is structured and how it operates, you’ll explore six landmark cases, covering a wide range of legal issues, from human rights and employment law to public law and criminal law.

Once you’ve heard the background to each case and a selection of the arguments made in Court, you can then vote on what you would have ruled as a Justice before you discover the outcome of the case.

Learn from Justices, Judicial Assistants, and academic experts

On this course, you’ll be learning from academic experts from Royal Holloway, as well as hearing from a wide range of people who work at the Court, from Justices and Judicial Assistants to members of the Executive team.

This course is designed for anyone considering a career in law, as well as those interested in learning more about the law.


  • What is the Supreme Court?
    • Introduction
    • What is the UK Supreme Court?
    • Working at the Supreme Court, Part One
    • Landmark Cases: Lee v Ashers Bakery (2018) UKSC 49
    • Landmark Cases: R v Jogee (Appellant) (2016) UKSC 8
    • Landmark Cases: AXA v Lord Advocate (2011) UKSC 46
    • Conclusion
  • International Aspects and Comparisons
    • Introduction
    • International Contexts and Comparisons
    • Working at the Supreme Court, Part Two
    • Landmark Cases: R (Unison) v Lord Chancellor (2017) UKSC 51
    • Landmark Cases: R (Nicklinson) v Ministry of Justice (2014) UKSC 38
    • Landmark Cases: Uber BV and others v Aslam and others (2021) UKSC 5
    • Conclusion

Taught by

Matthew Smith


4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 50 ratings

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