On episode two of this season’s Take 10 podcast, Partner William Peake is joined by our London Litigation team, Counsels Francesca Gibbons and Deirdre MacNamara, and Associate Joshua Shuardson-Hipkin, to discuss the inner workings of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
The history of the Privy Council can be traced back to the Norman times during the 11th Century where petitions were brought before the Monarch to be either granted or denied. Over time, it was decided that a group of Privy Counsellors be formed to review the petitions and provide advice to the Monarch about the best decision to be made. The group still exists today and remains a formal body of advisors to the Monarch.
Today, the Privy Council remains the final appellate court for many overseas territories including the BVI, Cayman and Bermuda.
Unlike other courts in England and Wales, all proceedings are recorded and can be watched online.
Our London Litigation team has been involved in a number of heavy weight disputes before the Privy Council, appearing as either offshore lawyers or Privy Council Agents, and are uniquely placed due to their proximity to the Court, allowing them to take charge of filings.
The team is also a member of the JCPC User Group Committee, attended by key Privy Council Agents. The group discusses procedural matters with the Court, putting forward suggestion for areas of improvement which are then considered by the Registrar and the Chairman.
The Privy Council has adapted to the remote working world as a result of COVID-19, with virtual hearings, electronic filings and bundles, and the utilisation of encrypted messaging platforms.
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