Jun 302016
 

UPDATE 12th January:

The judgment will be handed down on Wednesday, 18th January at 9:45am.

UPDATE 30th November:

The Supreme Court suddenly have a very urgent, very hot political potato landed on the doorstep. The Brexit high court judgment has been referred for urgent consideration by the Supreme Court, who will put all of their current 11 justices on the case. This may well delay other Supreme Court business, including the Firstbus judgment.

If we aren’t notified of the imminent release of the judgment by Thursday 15th December, it won’t be out before Christmas.

A lot of people have been asking me via Twitter etc. when we can expect the judgment in FirstGroup PLC vs Paulley, about:

The reasonable adjustments which a bus company is required to make to accommodate disabled wheelchair users.

The simple answer is: we don’t know.

My understanding is that the Supreme Court aim to get judgments out within 12 sitting weeks of the hearing. NB: the Court has a summer recess which doesn’t count, also this is only an aim and some judgments do take longer. 

In our case there were 7 justices rather than the usual 5 so there is extra coordination required to write the judgment(s), also it is a case that has generated considerable public interest. Both are factors which may mean that the judgment could take longer.
We hope the judgment may be out in the Autumn, hopefully before Christmas, but ultimately we don’t know.

Judgments are released at 9.45am on Wednesdays when the court is sitting. The full text is put online and there’s a summary read out in court, also this is videod and may be watched live on the Supreme Court website, or after the session the recording is available on both the Supreme Court website and YouTube.

We are given notice of the judgment imminent release of the judgment one week in advance. The judgment is released to legal representatives 6 days beforehand.

The Supreme Court list their forthcoming judgments on the Thursday, 6 days before they’re about to be handed down.

Whilst legal reps will know the content 10 days in advance, I’m not allowed to know any of the contents until the day before it’s released, and all of us are prevented from revealing anything about it at all until it is formally handed down, on pain of contempt of Court.

The Supreme Court produce a weekly list (when they’re sitting) of which judgments are still awaiting and how long each one has been since the hearing. They appear on their blog, in the same article where the coming week’s cases are listed. Here’s the one for 31 October 2016 – note that 13 cases have been waiting for a judgment for longer than Firstbus (longest: a year) and there are 9 cases that have been waiting for a shorter time, though judgments aren’t released in strict order.

I’m very grateful for the support and interest in this case, and am anxiously awaiting the judgment!

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