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United Kingdom: New Supreme Court Opens for Business

(Oct. 9, 2009) The new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom began operation on October 1, 2009. Its creation is designed to increase transparency and further enhance the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary in the UK and is provided for in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Prior to the Supreme Court's creation, a committee of the House of Lords was the highest court of appeal, leading to the appearance of a blurring of roles between the three branches. In its first case, the Justices of the Supreme Court ruled on October 5 that a terrorist suspect accused of being a key financier for al-Qaeda was not entitled to anonymity as a party to a case that challenged a government order freezing his assets. (Constitutional Reform Act 2005, c. 4, Office of Public Sector Information website, (last visited Oct. 7, 2009); The Supreme Court, The Supreme Court website, (last visited Oct. 7, 2009); Frances Gibb, 'Terrorist Financier' Suspect Named in Supreme Court's First Ruling, TIMESONLINE (London) Oct. 6, 2009, available at