The UK Supreme Court, in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London, has announced the launch of their first joint online course.

 Entitled “Inside the UK Supreme Court: Its Role, Its Work and Cases that Affect Us All”, the two-week course, delivered by FutureLearn, the social learning platform, is designed to increase knowledge and understanding of the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC), and their role within society.

You’ll be learning from academic experts from Royal Holloway, University of London, as well as hearing from present and former Supreme Court Justices and a range of people who work at the Court.

The course is accessible to the public, and is free of charge. It will last for two weeks, with a commitment of four hours a week to complete it.

During the course, you will:

  • Explore the role, inner workings, and history of the Supreme Court
  • Compare the UK Supreme Court with the United States Supreme Court
  • Debate and evaluate recent cases heard by the Supreme Court
  • Identify the Court’s role in relation to the Commonwealth and Europe
  • Investigate the various roles that make up the Supreme Court

President of the Supreme Court, Lord Reed, said: “We are delighted to partner up with Royal Holloway, to deliver our first ever free online course to provide individuals with the opportunity to learn more about the role and position of the Supreme Court within the UK and across the Commonwealth.

The course is split over two weeks, with the first focusing on the role of the Supreme Court within the UK and the second highlighting the international position of the Court and how it varies across the globe. It’s a great way of sharing behind the scenes insight into how we deliver cases, and to take a deep dive into some recent judgments.

We hope that people from across the UK and internationally will sign-up to the course, and that they find it interesting, engaging and enjoyable to complete.”

Dr David Yuratich, Lecturer in the Department of Law and Criminology at Royal Holloway, said: “Inside the UK Supreme Court marks another exciting stage in Royal Holloway’s relationship with the UK Supreme Court, building on collaborations dating back to 2014 and, more recently, our work to help the court celebrate its ten-year anniversary with our Legal Landmarks series of educational videos.

With this new course we look forward to helping learners of all ages and backgrounds discover more about the UK’s highest court, the people who work there, and how its decisions affect us all. Participants in the course will hear directly from Justices about the Supreme Court’s work, find out about the court’s role in the legal system, consider how it compares to similar courts around the world, and will be guided through the arguments in important cases and invited to think about what they would have decided if they were sitting on the court.”

The course is interactive, and the content takes the form of articles, case studies, video interviews, quizzes, and mini lectures. It includes interviews with current and former Supreme Court Justices’ including current President Lord Reed, Lord Hodge, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Sales and former Presidents Lord Phillips and Lady Hale.

Whether you are interested in a career in law, or you would like to learn more about how the Court considers cases, the course covers a range of topics and is widely open to anyone. It may be of particular interest to people considering a career in the legal sector, as well as those interested in learning more about the law itself. No previous legal knowledge is required to take part.

You can register here: Registration

The course will begin on Monday 21 February and learners can complete it in their own time, within the two-week window.

Further information is provided on the programme syllabus.