Senior Courts Act 1981

Senior Courts Act 1981

The Senior Courts Act 1981, originally known as the Supreme Court Act 1981, is a piece of legislation enacted by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The primary purpose of the Act is to outline the structure and jurisdictions of the Senior Courts of England and Wales, which were previously referred to as the Superior Courts. These Senior Courts encompass various judicial bodies, including the Court of Appeal, High Court of Justice, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and the Crown Court.

A significant development related to this Act occurred with the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which established a new entity called the Supreme Court. On October 1, 2009, the Supreme Court replaced the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. To prevent confusion arising from the coexistence of the two terms, the Supreme Court Act 1981 underwent a name change and became the Senior Courts Act 1981. Consequently, all statutory references to the Supreme Court of England and Wales were adjusted to reflect the Senior Courts of England and Wales. It is essential to note that the term Supreme Court in the 1981 Act referred to the Supreme Court of England and Wales before the establishment of the 2009 Supreme Court.

Section 75 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 empowers the Lord Chief Justice to issue directions related to the classification of the business of the Crown Court and the allocation of cases to specific Crown Court centres. Several practice directions, such as those dated May 26, 1995, June 30, 1998, and January 10, 2000, have been issued pursuant to this section.

Additionally, Section 84 of the Act serves to replace Section 99 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 and Section 15 of the Courts Act 1971. This replacement reflects the evolution and consolidation of legal provisions over time.
Back to blog
UOL Case Bank

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.