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Sudden increase in successful appeals to Supreme Court


Supreme Court: 19% increase in cost of court

There was a sharp increase in successful appeals to the Supreme Court last year, its annual report has revealed.

It also showed that immigration cases accounted for 14% of the applications for permission to appeal (PTA).

Some 60% of the 58 appeals determined in the year to 31 March 2020 were successful, a far higher proportion than in recent years. The next best was 2015/16, where 51% of appeals were successful, and that did not take into account the cases that produced a mixed result, of which unusually there were none in the past year.

There was no explanation of why the proportion of successful appeals has increased so sharply.

In all, the court determined 238 PTA applications, granting 76 (32%) of them, with judicial review (23), procedure and tax (both 21) the other main sources of appeals.

This was reflected in the judgments too, of which immigration and tax matters each accounted for six, the highest of any area of practice.

The number of PTA applications this year (232) remained very much in line with recent years.

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), which is co-located with the Supreme Court and shares the court’s administration, gave 45 judgments and determined 64 PTA applications.

The court’s net operating cost increased by 19% to £6.1m – expenditure of £14.3m against £8.2m recouped in court fees (£1.1m), contributions from the UK court services, and other income. A £1m rise in salaries to £7.2m, including a small increase in headcount, was the main reason for this.