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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 2

2. Supreme Court of India ................................................................................................... 3

2.1. Original Jurisdiction ................................................................................................ 4

2.2. Appellate Jurisdiction .............................................................................................. 6

2.3. Writ Jurisdiction ...................................................................................................... 9

2.4. Advisory Jurisdiction ............................................................................................. 10

2.5. Other Powers ......................................................................................................... 10

3. Supreme Court of the United States.............................................................................. 10

4. Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ........................................................................ 15

4.1. Court Structure of Her Majesty’s Court Service ................................................... 16

4.2. Composition........................................................................................................... 16

4.3. Appellate Jurisdiction ............................................................................................ 16

4.4. Devolution Matters ................................................................................................ 18

5. Bibliography ................................................................................................................. 19

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1. INTRODUCTION

India having been under colonial rule of United Kingdom for centuries adopted various
British features including the Parliamentary system and probably a large trace of the judicial
system as well. Both of them being common law countries have lot of similarities in their
legal structure. Both serve as the highest appellate court in their jurisdiction on crucial
matters of domestic law and hear cases pertaining to questions of great legal importance.1
Further, the judgments issued by them are binding on inferior courts across their respective
jurisdictions.2 In order to have a comprehensive analysis of the process of judging in India it
is better to have an awareness regarding the court systems, the nature and scope of the
investigation and the nature of the trial in U.K. as well as U.S. The apex body of dispute
redressal in all the three countries are their respective Supreme Courts. The UK Supreme
Court was established recently by the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Prior to the
establishment of the Supreme Court, this jurisdiction was with the House of Lords and the
transfer of the authority was effected on 1st October, 2009.3

The UK Supreme Court enjoys wide powers as the final court of appeal for all civil cases in
the United Kingdom and for all criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
However, the UK Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is limited in Scottish criminal cases, with the
court enjoying jurisdiction only insofar as a devolution or compatibility issue arises.4
Following the establishment of devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
and the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into domestic law, the
UK Supreme Court often assumes the mantle of a constitutional court.5

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of
the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it
has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases, such as suits between two or more states,
and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate
jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of constitutional or
statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for

1
THE JOURNAL ONLINE SUPREME COURTS: THE US AND UK COMPARED: THE JOURNAL ONLINE (2015),
http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/60-2/1018891.aspx
2
Id.
3
THE APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS,
http://www.parliament.uk/documents/lordslibrary/lln2009-010appellate.pdf
4
THE JOURNAL ONLINE SUPREME COURTS: THE US AND UK COMPARED: THE JOURNAL ONLINE (2015),
http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/60-2/1018891.aspx
5
Id.

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violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it
may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court of India is the highest judicial forum established by the constitution of
India.6 It has extensive powers in the form of original, appellate and advisory jurisdictions.7
The Supreme Court of India is the watchdog of the fundamental rights of citizens8 and also
acts as an advisory court when it hears matters referred to it under the Constitution by the
President of India. Unlike the United States and United Kingdom, the Supreme Court of India
has jurisdiction over all the courts in India.9 Further, there is existence of jury trial in
England10 unlike India which was abolished in KM Nanawati v. State of Maharashtra11.

The project shall delve into the distinction between the powers of the Supreme Court in India
United Kingdom and United States. The differences shall be seen on various grounds like
history, establishment and constitution of the Supreme courts. The jurisdiction of both the
courts with respect to the original, appellate (appeal from High court in civil and criminal
matters) and exclusive jurisdiction shall also be seen. Further, it will be looked into whether
the jurisdiction by the Supreme Court can be enlarged. Further, the ancillary power of all the
Supreme Courts shall be seen.

2. SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

India has a single court system unlike United Kingdom and United States. The Supreme
Court of India is the apex court of the nation. The Supreme Court of India came into being on
26 January 1950 after replacing the Federal Court of India and the Judicial Committee of the
Privy Council which were established during British rule.12 It is established and constituted
under Article 124 of the Constitution of India. It is the apex court and the court for final
appeal. Further, each state has a High Court and some states have a common High Court.
Below them are the District and Sessions Courts which is presided by the District Judge.
High Courts and Supreme Court are courts of record. Unlike the United States and United
Kingdom, the Supreme Court of India has jurisdiction over all the courts in India. While, the

6
Article 124 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
7
Article 131-135 of the Constitution of India, 1950
8
Article 32 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
9
Article 143 of the Constitution of India, 1950.
10
Chapter 2, JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IN U.S., U.K., FRANCE AND INDIA,
shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28501/9/09_chapter2.pdf
11
1962 AIR 605.
12
http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/history

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originally the Supreme Court was envisaged to be constituted by a Chief Justice and 7 puisne
Judges and further leaving it to Parliament to increase this number. 13 As the work of the
Court increased and arrears of cases began to cumulate, Parliament increased the number of
Judges from 8 in 1950 to 11 in 1956, 14 in 1960, 18 in 1978 and 26 in 1986.14 The scope of
powers of Supreme Court to hear and decide cases is called its jurisdiction. The Supreme
Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.

2.1. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

Original jurisdiction is the jurisdictional power vested in the Supreme Court which allows it
to hear the cases directly without going to the lower courts before. The Supreme Court has
original jurisdiction with respect to entertaining PILs, inter-governmental disputes and
enforcement of fundamental rights. The disputes relating to the election of the President and
Vice-President are also included in the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

2.1.1. INTER-GOVERNMENTAL DISPUTES


Under Article 131, the Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction in any dispute
between
i. The Centre and a State;
ii. The Centre and a State on one side, and a State on the other side;
iii. Two or more States.
The cases involving federal relations go directly to the Supreme Court i.e. between the
Government of India and one or more States15; or between the Government of India and any
State or States on one side16; or between two or more States if and in so far as the dispute
involves any question (whether of law or fact) on which the existence or extent of a legal
right depends. Such powers to resolve matters concerning the federal relations can be
exercised by the Supreme Court only under its original jurisdiction as it alone has the power
to deal with such cases and thus cannot be taken up by either of the High Courts or the lower
courts. Thus, the Supreme Court not only settles disputes but also interprets the
Constitutional provisions concerning the Union and State government. A dispute to be
justiciable by the Supreme Court under Art. 131 should involve a question whether of law or

13
Article 124 of the Constitution of India, 1949.
14
http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/history
15
Article 131(a) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
16
Article 131(b) of the Constitution of India, 1949.

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fact, on which the existence or extent of a legal right depends.17 Thus, questions of a political
nature not involving any legal aspect are excluded from the Court’s purview. The Supreme
Court’s jurisdiction under Art.131 is subject to two limitations, viz, as to the parties and as to
the subject matter. Thus, the dispute must involve assertion or vindication of a legal right of
the Government of India or a State. “It is not necessary that the right must be a constitutional
right. All that is necessary is that it must be a legal right.”18

In exercise of powers under Art.145 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court framed the
Supreme Court Rules, 1966, Part III Orders 22 to 34 which prescribes the procedure to be
followed in connection with the filing, hearing and disposal of proceedings under Art.131.
Execution of decrees and orders has been provided for by the Supreme Court (Decrees and
Orders) Enforcement Order, 1954 issued by the President under Art. 142(1) of the
Constitution.

Under Art.131, the Supreme Court cannot take cognizance of a suit brought by private
individual against a Government. The State of Bihar filed a suit in the Supreme Court under
Art.131 against the Union of India as the owner of Railways, and the Hindustan Steel Ltd., a
government company claiming damages for short supply of iron and steel ordered by the
State in connection with the Gandak Project. The Court held that the suit did not lie under
Art. 131 because its phraseology excludes the idea of a private citizen, a firm or a
corporation, figuring as a disputant either alone or along with a government. “The most
important feature of Art. 131 is that it makes no mention of any party other than the
Government of India or any one or more of the States who can be arrayed as a disputant.” 19
No private party, be it citizen, or a firm or corporation, can be impleaded as a party in a suit
under Art. 131, along with a state either jointly or in the alternative.20 It was argued that
Hindustan Steel could be regarded as a “State” under Art.12. But the Court said that the
enlarged definition of the “state” given under Art.12 could not be applied under Art. 131, and
Hindustan Steel could not e regarded as “State” for that purpose. This means that only inter-
governmental disputes can be brought into the Supreme Court under Art.131, and a State
cannot sue under Art.131 a government company belonging to the Central Government even
though it may be deemed to be a ‘state’ under Art.12. as to the nature of the dispute which
can be brought under Art.131, the Court stated that the “dispute must arise in the context of

17
Article 131(c) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
18
State of Rajasthan v. Union of India, AIR 1977 SC 1402.
19
State of Bihar v. Union of India, AIR 1970 SC 1446
20
Ibid.

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the Constitution and the Federalism it sets up,” and that “the disputes should be in respect of
the legal right and not dispute of a political character.” The Court was justified in rejecting
the argument based on Art.12. to accept it would have meant that any dispute between a
government and an administrative agency, of which there are numerous, could be brought
before the Supreme Court, which would have placed an impossible burden on it. It was well,
therefore, that the Court restricted Art.131 to such disputes as arise between the constituent
units of the Indian Union and the Central Government.

2.1.2. ENFORCEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS


The Supreme Court has been constituted as the guardian of the Fundamental Rights. Article
32 empowers the Court to issue writs for enforcement of Fundamental Rights. The High
Courts can also enforce Fundamental Rights by issuing writs under Art.226.21

2.2. APPELLATE JURISDICTION

The power of a superior/higher court to hear and decide appeals against the judgment of a
lower court is called appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court is the highest court of appeal.
The Supreme Court has also a very wide appellate jurisdiction over all Courts and Tribunals
in India in as much as it may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal under Article 136
of the Constitution from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause
or matter passed or made by any Court or Tribunal in the territory of India.22

2.2.1. CONSTITUTIONAL MATTERS


Article 132 provides for appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in appeals from High
Courts in certain cases. A person can appeal to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree
or final order of a High Court in the territory of India, whether in a civil, criminal or other
proceeding, if the High Court certifies under Article 134A that the case involves a substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution.23 Under Art.132(1), an appeal lies
to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree or final order, whether in a civil, criminal or
other proceeding, of a High Court if it certifies that the case involves a substantial question of
law as to the interpretation of the Constitution. According to Art. 132(3), where such a
certificate is given, any party in the case may appeal to the Supreme Court on the ground that
any such question has been wrongly decided. A very broad power is thus conferred on the

21
MAHENDRA PAL SINGH, CONSTITUTION OF INDIA (EBC LUCKNOW: 12TH ED. 2013).
22
http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/history
23
Article 132(1) of the Constitution of India, 1949.

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Supreme Court to hear appeals in constitutional matters. No difficulty will be felt in bringing
a constitutional controversy before the Court which has been made the final authority in the
matter of interpretation of the Constitution.24 When an appeal is not competent under Art.
132, the Supreme Court will not hear it even if the High Court has granted the necessary
certificate.25 The implication of Art. 132(3) is that the appellant who comes before the
Supreme Court under this Article is not entitled to challenge the propriety of the decision
appealed against on a ground other than that on which the High Court granted the certificate.
If, however, on appeal, a question is sought to be raised before the Supreme Court, other than
the one on which the High Court has granted the certificate, it is necessary to seek permission
of the Supreme Court.26 This means that the appellant should ordinarily confine himself to
the constitutional law point involved.27 Such a restriction is necessary so that the facility with
which appeals in constitutional matters can reach the Supreme Court may not be misused by
the appellant raising all sorts of extraneous pleas once his appeal has come before the Court
on the ground that it involves a substantial question of constitutional law. 28 This Article
symbolizes the Supreme Court as the final court of constitutional interpretation. Questions of
constitutional interpretation are thus placed in a special category irrespective of the nature of
proceedings in which they arise. Such questions can always be taken in appeal to the
Supreme Court so that this Court may have the last say. As divergent interpretations of a
constitutional provision by various High Courts would create difficulties for the people, it is
desirable that such questions are decided authoritatively as soon as possible. Hence Art.132
provides a machinery for this purpose.

2.2.2. CIVIL MATTERS


Article 133 provides for appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in appeals from High Courts
in regard to civil matters provided that (a) The case involves a substantial question of law of
general importance and (b) The said question needs to be decided by the Supreme Court in
the opinion of the High Court.29 Further, an appeal also lies on ground that a substantial
question of law as to the interpretation of this Constitution has been wrongly decided.30
Under Art 133(1), an appeal lies to the Supreme Court from any judgment, decree or final
order in a civil proceeding of a High Court if it certifies-
24
M.P. JAIN, INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (7TH ED.).
25
Syedna Taher v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 253, 255.
26
Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1953 SC 83.
27
State of Bombay v. Jagmohandas, AIR 1953 SC 83.
28
Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India, AIR 1965 SC 1167.
29
Article 133(1) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
30
Article 133(2) of the Constitution of India, 1949.

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 That the case involves a substantial question of law of general importance; and
 That in the opinion of the High Court, the said question needs to be decided by the
Supreme Court.

Before 1972, there was a right to appeal to the Supreme Court from a decision of the High
Court if the subject matter involved in the dispute was valued at Rs. 20, 000 or more. This
has now been changed. The change has been effected because valuation test is not a true
yardstick for the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. On the one hand, it is not necessary
that important questions of law must be involved in every case valuing Rs. 20000 or more.31
On the other hand, an important question of law can arise in any case whatsoever may be the
value of the subject-matter involved. Now an appeal may go to the Supreme Court in any
case involving an important question of law even though the value of the subject-matter
involved may not be large. 32

Article 133 discards the distinction between appellate and original jurisdictions of the High
Court. Article 133 deliberately uses words which are as wide as language can make them. It
includes all judgments, decrees and orders passed in the exercised of appellate or ordinary
original civil jurisdiction. No appeal in a civil matter lies to the Supreme Court as a matter of
right. An appeal can lie only on a certificate of the High Court which is issued when the
above two conditions are satisfied. Under Art. 133(2), any party appealing to the Supreme
Court under Art. 133(1), may urge as a ground that a substantial question of law as to the
interpretation of the Constitution has been wrongly decided. Under Art. 133(3) unless
Parliament provides otherwise, no appeal lies to the Supreme Court from the judgment,
decree or final order of a single High Court judge. For the purposes of Art. 133(1), the
proper test to determine whether a question of law is substantial or not is whether it is of
general public importance, or whether it directly and substantially affects the rights of the
parties and if so, whether it is either an open question in the sense that it is not finally settled
by the highest court, or is not free from difficulty, or calls for discussion of alternative views.

2.2.3. CRIMINAL MATTERS


The provisions in the Constitution (Art. 134) regulating criminal appeals to the Supreme
Court are so designed as to permit only important criminal cases to come before it. Article
134 confers a limited criminal appellate jurisdiction on the Supreme Court. The Supreme

31
M.P. Jain, Indian Constitutional Law (7th ed.).
32
Id.

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Court hears appeals only in exceptional criminal cases where justice demands interference by
the apex court. With respect to the appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court in regard to
criminal matters, an appeal lies to the Supreme Court from the High Court if the High Court
has on appeal reversed an order of acquittal of an accused person and sentenced him to death;
or has withdrawn for trial before itself any case from any court subordinate to its authority
and has in such trial convicted the accused person and sentenced him to death.33 Further, the
Parliament is authorized to confer on the Supreme Court any further powers to entertain and
hear appeals from any judgment, final order or sentence in a criminal proceeding of a High
Court.34 It was necessary to restrict the flow of criminal appeals to the Supreme Court
otherwise a large number of such appeals would have made it physically impossible for the
court to cope with them.

The word ‘acquittal in this provision has been interpreted rather broadly. ‘Acquittal’ does not
mean merely that the trial should have ended in a complete acquittal but would also include a
case where an accused has been acquitted of the charge of murder and convicted of a lesser
offence, and on appeal, the High Court reverses the decision of the trial court and convicts the
accused of murder; it would amount to reversing an order of acquittal and is entitled to appeal
to the Supreme Court. No appeal would lie under this provision if the High Court reverses an
order of conviction of an accused and acquits him. Under Art. 134(1)(a) an appeal lies as of
right to the Supreme Court. In the second place, under Art. 134(1)(b), an appeal lies to the
Supreme Court if the High Court has withdrawn for trial a case from a lower court and
sentenced the accused to death. Thirdly, under Art. 134(1)(c), the Supreme Court can hear an
appeal in a criminal case if the High Court certifies that the case is a fit one for appeal to the
Supreme Court.

2.3. WRIT JURISDICTION

Article 32 provides the right to move the Supreme Court remedies for enforcement of rights
conferred by the Part III.35 Furthermore, The Supreme Court has power to issue directions or
orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo
warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the
rights conferred by this Part.36

33
Article 134(1) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
34
Article 134(2) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
35
Article 32(1) of the Constitution of India, 1949.
36
Article 32(2) of the Constitution of India, 1949.

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2.4. ADVISORY JURISDICTION

Article 143(1) states the Power of President to consult Supreme Court on a question of law or
fact has arisen of such public importance that it is expedient to obtain its opinion. However,
the Supreme Court is not bound to give advice on such matters37 and the President is not
bound to accept such an advice.

2.5. OTHER POWERS

The Supreme Court is a Court of Record which implies that all its decisions and judgments
are binding precedents in all the courts38 and further it has all the powers of such a court
including the power to punish for contempt of itself.39 Further, The Supreme Court, if
satisfied that cases involving the same or substantially the same questions of law are pending
before it and one or more High Courts or before two or more High Courts and that such
questions are substantial questions of general importance, may withdraw a case or cases
pending before the High Court or High Courts and dispose of all such cases itself.40
Moreover, Under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, International Commercial
Arbitration can also be initiated in the Supreme Court.41 Moreover, the jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court can be enlarged under Article 138 by the Parliament. The Parliament can also
confer supplemental powers to the Court to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by the
Constitution more effectively.

3. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

The court system in the United States is divided into two separate systems namely federal and
the state each of which is independent. As per Article 3 of the United States Constitution, the
judicial power of the United States shall be vested with one Supreme Court and in such
inferior courts as the congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Supreme
Court of the United States is the highest court in the American judicial system, and has the
power to decide appeals on all cases brought in federal court or those brought in state court
but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment freedom of speech case was

37
For instance, the Supreme Court refused to give its advice on the question whether a temple existed at the
spot, where Babri Masjid was built at Ayodhya.
38
Article 141 of the Constitution of India, 1949.
39
Article 129 of the Constitution of India, 1949.
40
Article 139A of the Constitution of India, 1949.
41
JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IN U.S., U.K., FRANCE AND INDIA: A COMPARISON
http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28501/9/09_chapter2.pdf

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decided by the highest court of a state (usually the state supreme court), the case could be
appealed to the federal Supreme Court. However, if that same case were decided entirely on a
state law similar to the First Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States would not
be able to consider the case.

3.1.1. COURT STRUCTURE

Source: US Court Structure, The International Institute for Transcribers and Court
Reporters Website

3.1.2. COMPOSITION
Over the years, various Acts of Congress have altered the number of seats on the Supreme
Court, from a low of five to a high of 10. Shortly after the Civil War, the number of seats on
the Court was fixed at nine. Today, there is one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices of
the United States Supreme Court.42 Like all federal judges, justices are appointed by the

42
ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-
educational-outreach/activity-resources/about

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President and are confirmed by the Senate and hold office for life.43 The salaries of the
justices cannot be decreased during their term of office. These restrictions are meant to
protect the independence of the judiciary from the political branches of government. The
Constitution sets no requirements for Supreme Court justices, though all current members of
the court are lawyers and most have served as circuit court judges. 44 Justices are also often
former law professors. The chief justice acts as the administrator of the court and is chosen
by the President and approved by the Congress when the position is vacant.45

3.1.3. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION


The Constitution established the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction to provide a tribunal of
the highest stature for disputes to which a state was a party and for cases involving the
representatives of foreign nations.46 In practice, the Supreme Court has only rarely exercised
its jurisdiction over foreign officials. Instead, the Supreme Court's original docket has been
dedicated largely to resolving disputes between state governments.47 Article III, section 2, of
the Constitution distributes the federal judicial power between the Supreme Court's appellate
and original jurisdiction, providing that the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in
"all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls," and in cases to which a
state is a party. The categories of cases falling under the Supreme Court’s original
jurisdiction are:
 Controversies between two or more states;
 All actions or proceedings to which ambassadors, other public ministers, consuls, or
vice consuls of foreign states are parties;
 All controversies between the United States and a state; and
 All actions or proceedings by a state against the citizens of another state or against
aliens.
The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court may not be invoked in every cause in which a
state elects to make itself a party plaintiff. Whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over
an action brought by a state depends upon whether the action involves a "case" or
"controversy" within the meaning of the constitutional provision as it is interpreted by the

43
ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-
educational-outreach/activity-resources/about
44
JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IN U.S., U.K., FRANCE AND INDIA: A COMPARISON
http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28501/9/09_chapter2.pdf
45
JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IN U.S., U.K., FRANCE AND INDIA: A COMPARISON
http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28501/9/09_chapter2.pdf
46
https://www.fjc.gov/history/courts/jurisdiction-original-supreme-court
47
Id.

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Supreme Court.48 Unless the subject matter of the controversy is susceptible of judicial
solution, the Supreme Court will not take jurisdiction of a dispute between states, any more
than another court would take jurisdiction of a suit between private parties involving a non-
justiciable dispute. For a state to invoke the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, it must
show that it will sustain some special and peculiar injury, such as would enable a private
person to maintain a similar action in another court.49 For instance, if a state can show that its
property or pecuniary rights are directly involved, the Supreme Court will take jurisdiction
over an action brought by the state to secure adjudication of such rights. A state may bring
suit to recover a debt owed to it by another state under a contract between the two states, or to
collect on bonds owned by it and issued by another state.50 Also, the questions of disputed
boundary are always proper subjects of suits between states. The Supreme Court will not
permit a state to secure for its citizens access to the original jurisdiction of the court by
bringing a suit in the name of the state to enforce the claims of individual citizens.51

In the Judiciary Act of 1789, Congress made the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction
exclusive in suits between two or more states, between a state and a foreign government, and
in suits against ambassadors and other public ministers. The Supreme Court's jurisdiction
over the remainder of suits to which a state was a party was to be concurrent, presumably
with state courts since the statute did not expressly confer these cases upon the inferior
federal courts. It accordingly asks itself in every invocation of an original proceeding
involving a state whether "recourse to that jurisdiction is necessary for the State's
protection."'52 What is necessary turns on an examination of whether there is some other
suitable federal or state forum where there is jurisdiction over the named parties, where the
issues tendered may be litigated, and where appropriate relief may be had, subject ultimately,
of course, to the exercise of appellate jurisdiction by the Supreme Court over the decision of
that forum.53 If there is such a forum, particularly one in which there is already pending an

48
Rhode Island v. Massachusetts (U. S. 1838) 12 Pet. 657, 721.
49
C. Ferrel Heady Jr. Suits by States Within the Original Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Washington
University Law Review, 26 (1).
50
Id.
51
North Dakota v. Minnesota (1923) 263 U. S. 365, 375, 376.
52
Eugene Gressman. (1980). The Jurisdiction of the Court--The United States Supreme Court. Canada-United
States Law Journal, 3 (8).
53
Eugene Gressman. (1980). The Jurisdiction of the Court--The United States Supreme Court. Canada-United
States Law Journal, 3 (8).

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appropriate action, the Supreme Court will decline to proceed further in execution of its
original jurisdiction over the matter.54

3.1.4. APPELLATE JURISDICTION


The Judiciary Act of 1789 gave the Supreme Court authority to hear certain appeals brought
from the lower federal courts and the state courts.55 The Court was also given power to issue
various kinds of orders, or writs, to enforce its decisions.56 Until 1891 losing parties in the
lower federal courts and state courts of last resort had the right to appeal their cases to the
Supreme Court. The Court's docket was crowded with appeals, many of which raised routine
or frivolous claims. In 1891 Congress created nine courts of appeals to correct errors in
routine cases. In 1925 Congress reformed, at the Court's insistence, the Supreme Court's
appellate jurisdiction by restricting the categories of cases in which litigants were afforded an
appeal by right to the Supreme Court. In addition, the Judiciary Act of 1925 gave the Court
the power to issue writs of certiorari to review all cases, federal or state, posing "federal
questions of substance." The writ of certiorari gives the Court discretionary review, allowing
it to address some issues and ignore others. In 1988 Congress passed the Act to Improve the
Administration of Justice. This law eliminated most appeals by right to the Supreme Court,
requiring the Court to hear appeals only in cases involving federal civil rights laws,
legislative reapportionment, federal antitrust actions, and a few other matters. As a result of
this growth in discretionary jurisdiction, the Supreme Court has the ability to set its own
agenda.

Article III of the US Constitution states that the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction
extends to all federal cases "with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the
Congress shall make. After the circuit court or state Supreme Court has ruled on a case,
either party may choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Unlike circuit court appeals,
however, the Supreme Court is usually not required to hear the appeal. Parties may file a
“writ of certiorari” to the court, asking it to hear the case.57 If the writ is granted, the Supreme
Court will take briefs and conduct oral argument. If the writ is not granted, the lower court’s
opinion stands. The Court typically hears cases when there are conflicting decisions across

54
Id.
55
http://law.jrank.org/pages/10627/Supreme-Court-United-States-Jurisdiction.html
56
Id.
57
http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-
resources/about

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the country on a particular issue or when there is an egregious error in a case. 58 The Supreme
Court of the United States does not have general appellate power over the decisions of state
courts. In cases arising under state law, judgments of state courts are final. Jurisdiction of the
Supreme Court is strictly confined to cases enumerated in the statute, enacted under the
Constitution. Before the Court may take jurisdiction over the case, state judicial remedies
must be exhausted. If they are, the requirement is met even if the final decision was not
rendered by the highest tribunal of the state involved. This rule dates back to the first
Judiciary Act of 1789.59

3.1.5. WRIT JURISDICTION


There are some limits on the Court's ability to grant extraordinary writs. Marbury v.
Madison60 established that the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction does not authorize the
issuance of any extraordinary writs by the Court – at least outside the narrow range of cases
allocated to the Court’s original jurisdiction in Article III § 2. Marbury, however, does not
restrict Congress’ power to authorize lower federal courts to issue extraordinary writs in the
exercise of their original jurisdiction. Shortly after Marbury, however, the Court did make it
clear that it was not constitutionally foreclosed from issuing extraordinary writs so long as the
writ was used in an exercise of the Court’s appellate jurisdiction. Indeed, in Ex parte
Bollman61, the Court used the writ of habeas corpus to review a lower court decision and held
that its jurisdiction in the case was “clearly appellate,” because it involved the revision of a
decision of an inferior court.

4. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM

United Kingdom does not have a single unified federal system. There are different judicial
systems for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Supreme Court is the
highest appeal court in almost all cases in England and Wales. The Supreme Court of the
United Kingdom was established by Part 3, Section 23 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005
and came into being on 1 October 2009.

58
Id.
59
W. J. Wagner, Appellate Jurisdiction of the Supreme Courts of Federal States, Notre Dame Law Review
Volume 34, Issue 1
60
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803).
61
Ex parte Bollman, 8 U.S. (4 Cranch) 75 (1807).

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4.1. COURT STRUCTURE OF HER MAJESTY’S COURT SERVICE

Source: The Structure of the Court, UK Supreme Court Website

4.2.COMPOSITION

The Court consists of 12 judges appointed by Her Majesty by letters patent 62 which may be
amended to increase the number of judges styled “Justices of the Supreme Court.63 Further,
Her Majesty may by letters patent appoint one of the judges to be President and one to be
Deputy President of the Court.64

4.3. APPELLATE JURISDICTION

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for all United Kingdom civil cases, and
criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears appeals on arguable points

62
Section 23(1), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
63
Section 23(2), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
64
Section 23(5), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.

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of law of general public and constitutional importance.65 It replaces the House of Lords in its
judicial capacity and has assumed the jurisdiction of the House of Lords under the Appellate
Jurisdiction Acts 1876 and 1888.66 Schedule 10 contains transitional provision relating to
proceedings under jurisdiction which is transferred to the Supreme Court by this Act from the
House of Lords or the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.67 According to the Section 40
of the Act, the Supreme Court is a superior court of record. Further, an appeal lies to the
Court from any order or judgment of the Court of Appeal in England and Wales in civil
proceedings and a court in Scotland if an appeal lay from that court to the House of Lords68
only with the permission of the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court subject to provision
under any other enactment restricting such an appeal.69 Moreover, the Schedule 9of the Act
provides for-
 transfers other jurisdiction from the House of Lords to the Court,
 transfers devolution jurisdiction from the Judicial Committee of the Privy
 Council to the Court, and
 Makes other amendments relating to jurisdiction.70
Further, The Supreme Court has power to determine any question necessary to be determined
for the purposes of doing justice in an appeal to it under any enactment.71 The Supreme Court
hears appeals from the following courts in each jurisdiction:

i. England and Wales


 The Court of Appeal, Civil and Criminal Division
 The High Court (in some limited cases)
ii. Scotland
 The Court of Session
iii. Northern Ireland
 The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland
 The High Court (in some limited cases)72

65
https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/role-of-the-supreme-court.html
66
JUDICIAL SYSTEMS IN U.S., U.K., FRANCE AND INDIA: A COMPARISON
http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/28501/9/09_chapter2.pdf
67
Section 57, Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
68
Section 40(2), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
69
Section 40(6), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
70
Schedule 9, Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
71
Section 40(5), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.
72
https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/role-of-the-supreme-court.html

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4.4. DEVOLUTION MATTERS

The Supreme Court also has jurisdiction in relation to devolution matters under the Scotland
Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 2006; this was
transferred to The Supreme Court from the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.73 It is to
be noted that a decision of the Supreme Court on appeal from a court of any part of the
United Kingdom, other than a decision on a devolution matter, is to be regarded as the
decision of a court of that part of the United Kingdom.74 Section 41(3) further specifies that a
decision of the Supreme Court on a devolution matter— (a) is not binding on that Court when
making such a decision; (b) otherwise, is binding in all legal proceedings.

5. CONCLUSION
From the above discussion, it can very well be concluded that of all the Supreme Courts, the
Supreme Court of India has wider jurisdiction. It exercises original, appellate as well as
advisory jurisdiction. The exercise of original jurisdiction is inclusive of the writ jurisdiction
of the court. As against this, the Supreme Court of United States has only original jurisdiction
and appellate jurisdiction and no writ jurisdiction. Similarly the Supreme Court of the United
Kingdom is the final court of appeals and also has some jurisdiction in respect of devolution
matters.

73
https://www.supremecourt.uk/docs/a-guide-to-bringing-a-case-to-the-supreme-court.pdf
74
Section 41 (2), Constitutional Reforms Act 2005.

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6. BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books

 MAHENDRA PAL SINGH, CONSTITUTION OF INDIA (EBC Lucknow: 12th ed. 2013).
 MAMTA RAO, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 445-488 (EBC Lucknow: 13th ed. 2013).
 PM BAKSHI, THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA (Universal Law Publishing Allahabad 13th
ed. 2015).
 M.P. JAIN, INDIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (7TH ED.).

Case Laws

 Darshan Singh v. State of Punjab, AIR 1953 SC 83.


 State of Bombay v. Jagmohandas, AIR 1953 SC 83.
 Hamdard Dawakhana v. Union of India, AIR 1965 SC 1167
 Syedna Taher v. State of Bombay, AIR 1958 SC 253, 255.
 State of Rajasthan v. Union of India, AIR 1977 SC 1402.
 State of Bihar v. Union of India, AIR 1970 SC 1446

Articles

 Dickson, B. (2015). Activism and Restraint within the UK Supreme Court. European
Journal of Current Legal Issues, 21(1).
 Elizabeth Gibson-Morgan, The United Kingdom Supreme Court and Devolution
Issues: Towards Constitutional Review?
 Eugene Gressman. (1980). The Jurisdiction of the Court--The United States Supreme
Court. Canada-United States Law Journal, 3 (8).
Web sources

 THE JOURNAL ONLINE SUPREME COURTS: THE US AND UK COMPARED: THE JOURNAL
ONLINE (2015), http://www.journalonline.co.uk/Magazine/60-2/1018891.aspx
 T. R. Andhyarujina, RESTORING THE SUPREME COURT'S EXCLUSIVITY THE HINDU
(2013), http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/Restoring-the-Supreme-Court.ece.
 The Supreme Court, THE SUPREME COURT ROLE OF THE SUPREME COURT – THE
SUPREME COURT, https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/role-of-the-supremecourt. html.
 ABOUT THE SUPREME COURT http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-
courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/about

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 https://www.fjc.gov/history/courts/jurisdiction-original-supreme-court
 https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/role-of-the-supreme-court.html
 Robert Longley, “APPELLATE JURISDICTION IN THE US COURT SYSTEM”
https://www.thoughtco.com/appellate-jurisdiction-4118870

Reports

 Andrew Le Sueur, Richard Cornes, THE FUTURE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM'S HIGHEST
COURTS, Economic and Social Research Council.
 JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS AND A SUPREME COURT (COURT OF FINAL APPEAL), 12 First
Report of Session 2003–04 Volume I.

Statutes

 The Constitution of India, 1947.


 Constitutional Reform Act 2005

Others

 The Judicial System of England and Wales: A Visitor’s Guide


 Library Note - THE APPELLATE JURISDICTION OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS (November
2009)

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