Kamen who is one of our paralegals and Dhatri who has been spending time on work experience with us visited the Supreme Court as part of their induction. Here, Kamen shares his experiences:
“In my first week of working at Fortune Law, I had the exciting chance to visit the Supreme Court of the UK which is the highest court, not only for England but also Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Supreme Court was established in 2009 and it’s predecessor had been the appellant chamber of the House of Lords. One key driver for the change was accessibility. The House of Lords was considered by some as an elitist institution, hidden deep within Westminster. Any case that was being heard by the House of Lords was not likely to have a large audience. This has now changed as the Supreme Court is currently situated in a beautiful building in Parliament Square and is open to the public.
When we arrived outside the building, we were greeted by a frieze of the historical signing of the Magna Carta, an important reminder of the constitutional importance of the place we were about to visit. Once inside, I was surprised at the inclusion of more modern architectural choices, such as glass panels and walls and the stark contrast they had with the style of the doors, stone walls and wooden staircases. It gave me the sense that I was in a place that fused both past and future in an innovative fashion.
Of the three courtrooms we visited, each had their own distinct style and charm. Courtroom one reflects what we might imagine a traditional courtroom would look like. With much of the original woodwork from before the creation of the Supreme Court and the portrait of Lord Bingham looking over it, the sense of gravitas is unshakable. Court room two has a much more modern getup. Here, the use of glass is notable once again due to its significance in manifesting the principle of transparency. It is here that the iconography of the Supreme Court is most visible, sharing the national flowers of all four parts of the UK. Court room three was in use when we came to visit but we sneaked a peek inside. The oldest looking of the three courtrooms, it serves as the seat of the Privy Council, the institution that serves as the highest court of appeal for a number of countries across the Commonwealth.
As our visit was nearing its end, we had a brief visit to the library and the permanent exhibition. Most notable for me was the Magna Carta display. Of, course, not the real one from 1215, but a copy in an updated English, scribed by commission of the Queen on the anniversary of its signing.
The visit left me with a new sense of purpose and a reinvigorated passion for the law, ready to embark on whatever journey my time at Fortune Law will take me. It is an experience I would recommend to anyone, regardless of their interest in the legal field.”