Above is a photograph of the swearing in of the eleven justices of the Supreme Court, housed at Middlesex Guildhall. (There are 12 justices - one was absent).
The Supreme Court replaces the Law Lords as the last court of appeal in all matters other than criminal cases in Scotland. The court is independent of Parliament and will hear the most important cases. Lord Phillips (right), President of the Supreme Court, said the change in form was important for judicial openness. The judicial function of the House of Lords, whose powers had evolved over centuries, ended with the swearing in of Lord Phillips on the 1st October.
The justices wore black robes threaded with gold, replacing the full-bottomed wigs, robes and breeches of the lords.
Handsome robes aren't they? They should be, they cost us more than £11,500 each and they will only be worn on ceremonial occasions.
The total bill for the finery was £139,000.
The robes are only part of the expense which has been foisted on us taxpayers. The Court features carpets designed by Sir Peter Blake, huge glass panels etched with Magna Carta quotations and bathrooms fitted with Dyson hand-dryers costing £700. Even the bill for its new logo, based on the national flowers of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland,, reportedly came in at more than £50,000. The total cost of the Court is said to be £59 million.
Scotland's supreme criminal court remains the High Court of Justiciary.