In an interview on the Radio 4 programme, Top Dogs: Britain’s New Supreme Court, in September, Lord Neuberger said there was a risk of “judges arrogating to themselves greater power than they have at the moment”. He said that to make the reforms “as a result of what appears to have been a last minute decision over a glass of whisky seems to me to verge on the frivolous”. “The danger is you muck around with a constitution like the British constitution at your peril because you do not know what the consequences of any change will be.”

Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor who steered the reform through Parliament, said the Supreme Court Justices would be “bolder” and more willing to take on the Executive.

However, former Law Lord, Lord Bingham said: “I would, myself, heavily discount the notion that because they are not in Parliament any more, they are going to behave diff erently.”

The Supreme Court will be housed in Middlesex Guildhall, which has had a £56 million refurbishment. The 12 Supreme Court Justices crossed London’s Parliament Square from the House of Lords to their new premises in August, and will begin hearing cases on 1 October.

(See also the November issue of Counsel.)