Press barred from Supreme Court opening

The promised era of more open justice at the nation’s new Supreme Court kicked off yesterday with the media barred from the historic opening.

Journalists had to wait outside while inside the refurbished Middlesex Guildhall, in London’s Parliament Square, the 11 new Justices of the Supreme Court were sworn in.

Lord Phillips, head of the new panel of judges who sat at the House of Lords until the end of July, had hailed the new court as an opportunity to bring to the public the workings of the highest court in the land.

But journalists and the public were told there was no room and the proceedings would be broadcast live from the chamber by its own team.

Half a dozen policemen and court security guard were outside the neo-Gothic building newly emblazoned with signs declaring it to be The Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

The judges later emerged from their new home dressed in their modern regalia, posing for photographs in front of the building wearing their new black robes, lavishly threaded with gold.

The first televised hearing were due to take place yesterday with the new Supreme Court judges hearing arguments relating to the recruiting policies of Jewish schools.

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