Addressing the UCL Constitution Unit in February on “The Politics of Judicial Independence”, Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court, said the Court was funded by “rather complex arrangements”. The running costs are met partly by civil court fees in England and Wales with further contributions from Scotland and Northern Ireland, partly by the Treasury, and partly by the sale of souvenirs and the hiring out of court premises for social events.

However, the civil court fees funding had fallen short in the first two years and the Court had been forced to ask the Lord Chancellor to make up the difference. Negotiations in the second year took place in the midst of the economic crisis, and the Lord Chancellor wrote to Lord Phillips “indicating the scale of the economies that he expected the Supreme Court to make in terms that I can only describe as peremptory”.

The President added that such an arrangement “clearly does not provide the security of funding which had been envisaged by Parliament and risks the Court being subject to the kind of annual negotiations the arrangements were intended to avoid. This is not a satisfactory situation for the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom”.