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UK top court justices should be questioned by MPs: senior judge

[JURIST] UK House of Lords judge Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury [appointment release] has said that when the new UK Supreme Court [backgrounder] is constituted in 2009 replacing the current Law Lords, members of the country's Parliament [official website] should be able to question the justices because of the court's influence on British laws. Speaking last week at the annual meeting [agenda, PDF] of the Bar Council [council website], Neuberger said that the increased independence of the new body, which replaces the judicial panel of the House of Lords [official website] as Britain's highest tribunal, should be balanced by accountability to the legislature. He suggested that the process could be modeled on the US process for confirming Supreme Court justices [JURIST report]. The Times has more.

In January, it was reported that Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], will probably head the new Supreme Court, statutorily created by the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005 [text]. Besides the US, Canada in 2006 began parliamentary questioning [JURIST report] of nominees for its Supreme Court. The practice remains controversial among Canadian judges.

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